Australian mining company Rift Valley Resources has reported the maiden joint ore reserves committee (JORC) mineral resource estimate (MRE) for its 70%-owned Longonjo magnet metals project in Angola.
The project is said to have resources of 44.7Mt at grading of 2.5% total rare earth oxides (TREO), including 11.6Mt at grading of 4.30% TREO in the oxide material, and 33.2Mt with grading of 1.87% TREO in the fresh material category.
The MRE forms the basis of an independent scoping study currently being undertaken by Amec Foster Wheeler.
Rift Valley Resources executive chairman Stephen Dobson said: "The announcement of the MRE is an important milestone in the development of the Longonjo project as a potential low-cost producer of the ‘in demand’ magnet metal products neodymium and praseodymium oxide.
"These excellent results will drive the company’s strategy to a development path with all potential options considered that will increase shareholder value."
According to the company, the inferred MRE represents less than 10% of the prospective Longonjo Carbonatite, according to the current geological understanding and available exploration information.
Currently, metallurgical test work on composite samples of the diamond core is in progress to evaluate the potential of the oxide and fresh mineralisation types for physical upgrading to produce a high-grade flotation concentrate.
Results related to the scoping study are expected in November this year.
Image: Diamond drill rig on site at Longonjo in June this year. Photo: courtesy of Rift Valley Resources.