Namibia Critical Metals Successfully Completes Infill and Resource Expansion Drilling for the PFS Phase of its “Lofdal 2B-4” Heavy Rare Earth Project
HALIFAX, NS / ACCESSWIRE / December 6, 2023 / Namibia Critical Metals Inc. (“Namibia Critical Metals” or the “Company” or “NCMI”) (TSXV:NMI)(OTCQB:NMREF) is pleased to announce the completion of the final phase of drilling for its Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) on the “Lofdal 2B-4” heavy rare earth project.
In total, infill and resource expansion drilling for the PFS phase amounts to 10,823 m in 56 boreholes drilled over the last months. The final drill phase entailed seven very deep reverse circulation (RC) boreholes for 2,597 m in the Area 4 main deposit. While five boreholes represent infill boreholes in the deeper part of the central Area 4 deposit, two of the boreholes aimed at resource expansion at the newly established mineralized zone in the western part of the Area 4 deposit (see press release of 8 September 2023).
Darrin Campbell, President of Namibia Critical Metals, stated:
“The finalization of all planned drilling is another major step forward for our “Lofdal 2B-4″ heavy rare earth project. The main aim of the drilling campaign was to significantly increase the measured and indicated resource categories to comply with the requirements of a PFS. Beyond this, field logging supports our concept of an extension of the orebody in the southwestern part of Area 4 which demonstrates the potential to unlock further mineralization in future. We expect to receive the assays in January 2024 and an updated resource statement in February 2024. Our Namibian in-country team managing the project has done a fantastic job in executing a very successful and cost-effective drill campaign.”
Figure 1: RC drill rig of Prinsloo Drilling at the final drill position in the western part of Area 4
PFS Infill and Expansion Drilling Campaign 2023
Drilling was conducted at both, Area 2B and Area 4, in two phases between February and November 2023. In total, 10,823 m were drilled by reverse circulation (RC drilling) in 56 boreholes (see table 1).
The last 7 boreholes, completed in November 2023, were drilled into the deeper western part of the mineralization at Area 4 (figure 1) with end-of-hole (EOH) depths between 325 and 401 m. These deep holes aimed at both, infill drilling for the current pit shell and resource expansion drilling following the newly discovered thick and high-grade HREE-mineralized zone further to the southwest.
Figure 2: Drill collar positions of the PFS infill drilling campaign at Area 4 main deposit and outline of potential expansions of the final open pit
More than 1100 samples were collected from the last seven boreholes and submitted for ICP analysis to Actlabs by end of November 2023. Results are expected by mid-January 2024.
Jeremy Witley of The MSA Group was contracted as QP for the drilling and sampling activities and confirmed that the processes and standards for the exploration are appropriate for the style of mineralization at Lofdal and that acceptable QAQC protocols have been implemented.
MSA was also contracted to produce an updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the Lofdal 2B-4 project which is expected to be released by end-February 2024.
Table 1: Summary statistics of the 2023 infill and resource expansion drilling campaign at the Lofdal sub deposits Area 2B and Area 4
About Namibia Critical Metals Inc.
NCMI is developing the Tier-1 Heavy Rare Earth Project, Lofdal, a globally significant deposit of the heavy rare earth metals dysprosium and terbium. Demand for these critical metals used in permanent magnets for electric vehicles, wind turbines and other electronics is driven by innovations linked to energy and technology transformations. The geopolitical risks associated with sourcing many of these metals has become a repeated concern for manufacturers and end users. Namibia is a proven and stable mining jurisdiction.
The Lofdal Project is fully permitted with a 25-year Mining License and is under a Joint Venture Agreement with Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC).
The Company filed a robust updated PEA for “Lofdal 2B-4” on November 14, 2022, with a post-tax NPV of USD$391 million and an annual IRR of 28% with a capital expenditure of USD$207 million. The project is projected to generate a life of mine nominal cash flow of USD$698 million post-tax over a 16-year mine life.
About Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) and the JV
JOGMEC is a Japanese government independent administrative agency which seeks to secure stable resource supplies for Japan. JOGMEC has a strong reputation as a long term, strategic partner in mineral projects globally. JOGMEC facilitates opportunities with Japanese private companies to secure supplies of natural resources for the benefit of the country’s economic development.
Rare earth elements are of critical importance to Japanese industrial interests and JOGMEC has extensive experience with all aspects of the sector. JOGMEC provided Lynas with USD$250,000,000 in loans and equity in 2011 to ensure supplies of the Light Rare Earths metals suite to the Japanese industry.
Namibia Critical Metals owns a 95% interest in the Lofdal project with the remaining 5% held for the benefit of historically disadvantaged Namibians. The terms of the JOGMEC joint venture agreement with the Company stipulate that JOGMEC provides C$3,000,000 in Term 1 and C$7,000,000 in Term 2 to earn a 40% interest in the Lofdal project. Term 3 calls for a further C$10,000,000 of expenditures to earn an additional 10% interest. JOGMEC can also purchase another 1% for C$5,000,000 and has first right of refusal to fully fund the project through to commercial production and to purchase all production at market prices. The collective interests of NCMI and historically disadvantaged Namibians cannot be diluted below a 26% carried working interest upon payment of C$5,000,000 to JOGMEC for the dilution protection. NMI may elect to participate up to a maximum of 44% by funding pro rata after the earn in period is completed.
To date, JOGMEC has completed Term 2 and earned a 40% interest by reaching the C$10 million expenditure requirement. JOGMEC has approved an additional C$1,800,000 budget for Term 3 through to March 31, 2024, totaling C$11,800,000.
Other exploration projects: The Company’s Exclusive Prospecting Licenses (“EPLs”) prospective for gold are located in the Central Namibian Gold Belt which hosts a number of significant orogenic gold deposits including the Navachab Gold Mine, the Otjikoto Gold Mine and the Twin Hills deposit. At the Erongo Gold Project, stratigraphic equivalents to the meta-sediments hosting the Osino gold discovery at Twin Hills have been identified and exploration is progressing over this highly prospective area. The Grootfontein Base Metal and Gold Project has potential for magmatic copper-nickel mineralization, Mississippi Valley-type zinc-lead-vanadium mineralization and Otjikoto-style gold mineralization.
Rainer Ellmies, PhD, MScGeol, EurGeol, AusIMM and Vice President of Namibia Critical Metals Inc., is the Company’s Qualified Person and has reviewed and approved this press release.
The common shares of Namibia Critical Metals Inc. trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “NMI” and the OTCQB Market under the symbol “NMREF”.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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This news release contains certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward looking information is frequently characterized by words such as “plan”, “expect”, “project”, “intend”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “may”, “will”, “would”, “potential”, “proposed” and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur. These statements are only predictions. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the information is provided, and is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. For a description of the risks and uncertainties facing the Company and its business and affairs, readers should refer to the Company’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should change, unless required by law. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
SOURCE: Namibia Critical Metals Inc.