Lotus Resources Limited (ASX: LOT) has commenced that exploration activities, including reverse circulation (RC) drilling, at the Milenje Hills Rare Earth Prospect at the Kayelekera project in Malawi.
The new programme follows the discovery of high-grade rare earth oxide (REO) material related to uranium mineralisation that grades up to 16% total REO and 3.4% critical REO earlier this year.
Managing Director, Keith Bowes, said that following this programme, the company will determine the optimal path forward to crystalise the value of the rare earth opportunity at Kayelekera for shareholders.
- Exploration has commenced at the high-grade Milenje Hills Rare Earth Prospect, located approximately 2km north of the Kayelekera open pit.
- The exploration programme includes additional geophysics, mapping and trenching and an RC drill programme
“Whilst the company remains firmly focused on the development and recommencement of production at the Kayelekera Uranium Mine, we believe the Milenje Hills Prospect has the potential to add real value to the company for minimal expenditure,” Mr Bowes said.
“Clearly, the initial results encountered at Milenje Hills were extremely encouraging, given both the grade and assemblage of rare earth minerals. The current work programme will provide us with an enhanced understanding of the overall potential of Milenje Hills, prior to determining the optimal path forward to realise value for shareholders.”
Milenje Hills is located 2km north of the Kayelekera open pit and was first identified through ground surveys and mapping in 2014 while exploring for uranium mineralisation adjacent to the Kayelekera uranium resource.
Late in 2020, the company completed its initial work program at Milenje Hills to better define the nature and extent of the mineralisation which had not been fully outlined due to lack of surface exposure of the mineral bearing rocks.
This initial work included trenching (17 total) and identified areas of interest to be the allanite bearing host rocks within two main lithology types; pegmatites and microgranites. Seventy samples were collected, of which 22 were mineralised.
Assay results showed that both lithology types had attractive rare earth grades (average TREO 8% and average CREO 1.6% in the mineralised samples) with elevated TiO2 levels (3.4% vs. 2.1%).
2021 Work Programme
The current activities include:
- Extension of the geophysical dataset to include additional survey lines over the large anomaly identified in initial work
- Mapping in the broader area to define new mineralised zones
- Additional trenching with an excavator in new zones as well as deepening some of the previous trenches and extending others where good mineralisation was observed
- 1,000 -2,000 metres of RC drilling to follow up on selected anomalies / mineralised zones identified from the trenching, mapping and geophysics
- Mineralogical testwork to better understand the REO host minerals, associations and sizing – expected to commence in 4Q21
- Initial physical beneficiation tests to confirm if producing a physical concentrate is viable – expected to commence 4Q21