Rift Valley Resources Limited (ASX: RVY), the Angola focused exploration and development company, has made some significant announcements as it continues to move ahead at its exciting Longonjo Magnet Metal Project, including the release of strong drilling results and a key appointment.
The company has announced highly encouraging assay results from its recently completed diamond drilling program at its 70% owned Longonjo Magnet Metal Project, with the program delivering extensive high-grade Total Rare Earth Oxide (“TREO”) results.
Key intersections (TREO) of note include 20m @ 6.47%, 38m @ 5.04%, 16m @ 7.04% and 16m @ 6.04%, from surface. With respect to grade, these results are globally significant.
Rift Valley has also revealed it has appointed experienced mining executive, Mark Hohnen, as a Non-Executive Director.
Mr Hohnen has been involved in the mineral business since the late 1970s and has had extensive international business experience in a wide range of industries, particularly mining and exploration.
He is currently Chairman of Boss Resources Limited and a Board member of Swakop Uranium, the owner of the world’s second largest uranium operation in terms of production – the Husab uranium project.
Mr. Hohnen was founding Executive Chairman of Kalahari Resources Plc. Kalahari (KAH) was listed on AIM in March 2006 with a market capitalisation of Stg£15 million. In 2011, Kalahari Resources Plc was valued at Stg£750 million and was ultimately the subject of a corporate transaction in 2012 valued at $US2.2 billion.
Rift Valley also advised that Geoff Gilmour has resigned as Managing Director and from its Board. He will remain as a consultant. Stephen Dobson will move to the role of Executive Chairman.
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The latest Longonjo drilling program covered only 10% of the prospective area. Importantly, the diamond drilling shows a 21% composition of magnet metals Neodymium and Praseodymium (NdPr). Prices for NdPr have increased 77% year to date, settling at $65/kg for NdPr Oxide domestic in China.
Commenting on the results, Rift Valley Chairman, Stephen Dobson, said: “The highly successful drilling campaign has significantly increased the potential of the Longonjo Magnet Metals Project, it has also confirmed the presence of mineralisation at depth. Significantly almost 21% of the mineralisation is represented by the in-demand magnet metals Neodymium and Praseodymium.”
The diamond drilling, which commenced in May 2017 and concluded in July, twinned previous air core drill holes with large diameter (PQ-116mm) diamond drill core. Triple tube barrels were used to ensure maximum core recovery.
Diamond core was obtained to provide the sample integrity necessary for a JORC compliant mineral resource estimation (MRE) that is anticipated to be completed during the current quarter, as well as the material needed for detailed metallurgical test work, both of which will be incorporated into the concomitant independent scoping study to be carried out by AMEC Foster Wheeler.
The company believes the results of this program not only provided sufficient data to meet its initial requirements of those of its advisors, but have also identified additional high grade TREO mineralisation and expanded the known mineralisation zones, with the company stating that all drill holes returning significant rare earth mineralisation from surface to end of hole and the mineralisation remaining open in all directions and at depth.
A total of 10 holes were drilled for an advance of 650 metres, of which seven holes were drilled to a depth of 50 metres with three holes to 100 metres. These exceeded the depth of their air core twins, which were drilled to blade refusal (typically 30 metres) and evidenced the continuation of rare earth mineralisation into the fresh, bedrock material at Longonjo.
The Longonjo prospect is located within the Ozango Project area 50 kilometres west of the regional city of Huambo. It is located proximal to good infrastructure including roads, towns and recently recommissioned railway infrastructure which links to the deep water Atlantic port of Lobito.
The geology is typical of rare earth mines and prospects globally including Lynas Corp’s Mt Weld deposit in Western Australia, Peak Resources’ Ngualla deposit in Tanzania and similar to Arfura’s Nolans Bore Project. Upon completion of the scoping study, the Longonjo Metal Magnet project is expected to compare favourably to most global peers with respect to CAPEX and OPEX.