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Pensana Metals progresses Longonjo NdPr Project in Angola towards PFS in September

The company has identified a path to early development that aims to position Longonjo as an important supplier of NdPr raw materials to meet demand from the electrification of vehicles.
Pensana Metals progresses Longonjo NdPr Project in Angola towards PFS in September
OVERVIEW: PM8 The Big Picture
Reverse circulation drilling at the Longonjo project during the March quarter
  • The company has recently increased the mineral resource more than seven-fold at the Longonjo Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr) Project
  • Pensana appointed Anglo American veteran Tim George as CEO in mid-April 2019
  • The company recently engaged RFC Ambrian as broker and agent in advance of a planned listing on the London Stock Exchange
  • Pensana plans to spend $652,000 on exploration and evaluation in the June 2019 quarter

What does Pensana Metals do?

Pensana Metals Ltd (ASX:PM8) is completing studies for a low-cost development approach at the Longonjo NdPr Project in Angola to determine the project’s potential to serve as a globally significant supplier for the expanding magnet metals market.

Headquartered in Perth, Western Australia, Pensana has engaged world-renowned engineering firm Wood Group PLC to complete a prefeasibility study (PFS), which is due in September 2019.

Chairman Paul Atherley is a highly experienced senior resources executive with wide ranging international and capital markets experience. He has completed several acquisitions and financings of resource projects in Europe, China, Australia and Asia.

Previously, Atherley was chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in China, vice chairman of the China Britain Business Council in London and served on the European Union Energy Working Group in Beijing.

The rare-earth developer recently appointed Tim George as chief executive officer to lead the Longonjo project development and London listing.

George has more than 30 years’ experience in the mining and engineering industry and has spent over a decade in production management roles at various Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) operations in Africa.

He was previously chairman and CEO of diamond exploration company Xceldiam based in Angola, which was bought out by Petra Diamonds Limited (LON:PDL) in 2007.

Pensana has a market cap of around A$19.4 million and at March 31 had cash in hand of A$1.441 million.

Estimated cash outflows during the current quarter total A$1.052 million with $652,000 of this targeted for exploration and evaluation expenditure.

What does Pensana Metals own?

Pensana is targeting a globally significant NdPr deposit at the Longonjo project, which is 4 kilometres from a modern rail line leading directly to an Atlantic port.

The potentially free-dig, low waste to ore ratio and high-grade nature of the surface mineralisation along with its favourable location and transport infrastructure distinguishes Longonjo from other rare earth projects.

The company’s vision is to leverage these unique advantages with the aim to rapidly develop a low capital intensive, low technical risk conventional open pit mine and on-site beneficiation plant to produce a high-grade mineral product for export.

In February SRK Consulting completed work and recorded an increased inferred mineral resource estimate of 240 million tonnes at 1.60% rare earth oxides (REO), including 0.35% NdPr for 3.85 million tonnes of REO, including 840,000 tonnes of NdPr.

The new estimate represents a more than seven-fold increase in tonnes and contains more than four times the amount of NdPr compared to the maiden resource estimate.

In March the company appointed international engineering company Wood Group to execute a PFS for the project.

This will focus on the delivery of a low capital cost open pit mining operation and exporting of concentrates to customers in China via the upgraded Benguela rail line and the Atlantic port of Lobito.

The company believes that it should be possible to move immediately into front end engineering design (FEED) and engineering procurement construction (EPC) following completion of the PFS.

Last week, Pensana intersected some of the highest grades from the project to date and confirmed the continuity of the thick blanket of NdPr mineralisation from surface.

Highlights included:

  • 14 metres at 5.20% rare earth oxides, including 1.06% NdPr from surface;
  • 22 metres at 4.16%, including 0.82% from surface;
  • 8 metres at 8.08%, including 1.54% from surface; and
  • 30 metres at 5.22%, including 1.04% from surface.

Inflection points

  • Pensana has appointed SRK consulting Perth to complete a revised mineral resource estimate
  • Remaining assay results from an 18-hole reverse circulation drilling program are expected in May
  • Diamond core assays are expected in June to allow a mineral resource estimate to be completed in July 2019
  • Complete a prefeasibility study, which is due in September 2019

“High-grade NdPr intersections are exceptional”

On the recent results, Pensana executive director Dave Hammond said: “These high-grade NdPr intersections are exceptional and demonstrate the weathered blanket of mineralisation at Longonjo contains some of the best global NdPr grades.

“The closed space drilling in the proposed open pit area is confirming the continuity of the NdPr mineralisation over substantial widths from surface.

“It will also provide the detail required to support an upgrade of this part of the mineral resource estimate from the current inferred category to the indicated JORC category, as required for a preliminary feasibility study.”

 

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