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Lindian nails 1000m rare earths drill hit at Kangankunde

Updated: May 2

Lindian Resources fieldwork at Kangankunde in Malawi. Credit: File Credit: File

Lindian Resources has unveiled an eye-watering 1000m intersect grading 2.6 per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO) from a depth extension drilling program at its Kangankunde rare earths project in Malawi.

The company says the assays extend mineralisation about 700m vertically below the base of the existing inferred mineral resource estimate (MRE) of 261 million tonnes at 2.19 per cent TREO.

Looking at the deposit from above, the Kangankunde mineralisation envelope appears to be somewhat circular and the company says it remains open in all directions, including depth.

The diamond core hole, Lindian’s second at the Malawi project, reached its target depth of 1000m and showed rare earths enrichment from surface to the end of the hole – meaning, remarkably, that the company still has not reached the base of the ore body.

Lindian’s massive drill intersection included 805.26m at 2.9 per cent TREO from 152.85m, including a 652.41m section at 3 per cent TREO from 347.59m to end-of-hole. Management says the critical rare earths neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) make up about 18.2 per cent of the TREO in line with its MRE that quotes about 20.2 per cent of TREO as NdPr.

Interestingly, the final 288m of core showed what the company says is consistent high-grade mineralisation going 3.5 per cent TREO from 711m. It poses the question, just how thick could Kangankunde’s mineralisation be?

The company has been focussed on defining Kangankunde’s western margin and drilled a diamond core hole in that area as part of its phase-two appraisal program. The hole was terminated at 325m due to excessive deviation, but it showed rare earths mineralisation from surface to the end-of-hole, averaging 2.49 per cent TREO and with NdPr making up about 20 per cent of TREO.

Management says the western hole has provided valuable information on the previously undrilled boundary and confirms that mineralisation extends about 100m west of its existing MRE envelope.

Kangankunde’s scale continues to grow and this is attracting the interest of a number of parties seeking to secure offtake from our planned Stage 1 operation. While we continue to advance discussions with a number of parties our efforts are now firmly on mine development works with an update on progress due in the near future. Whilst some follow up exploration is warranted at Kangankunde, which we will do in parallel with mine development works, our immediate focus is infill drilling to support the first stage of mine development. Lindian Resources executive chairman Asimwe Kabunga

Company chief executive officer Alistair Stephens added that the assays from the second deep drill hole reinforce all of Kangankande’s key characteristics, including high-grade mineralisation consistent across thick intercepts, a favourable NdPr ratio and a non-radioactive concentrate for transportation. He said it adds to Kangankunde’s potential scale and the quality of its mineralisation.

Meanwhile, Lindian has already kicked off a phase-three infill drilling campaign at Kangankunde that is aimed at defining a portion of the current inferred MRE as indicated to feed mine development feasibility studies.

Earlier this month, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) confirmed Kangankunde rare earths mineral concentrates, which have been produced at 66 per cent TREO, are not classified as radioactive, meaning the company can avoid complicated and costly transport options.

The most recent set of drill assays support Lindian’s claims of Kangankunde being among the world’s biggest rare earths deposits. The company has previously said the deposit contains about 5.7 million tonnes of rare earths, including about 1.2 million tonnes of NdPr at a ratio of about 20.2 per cent of TREO.

Lindian says the results of all phase-two drilling will now be used to form the basis for an exploration target, which it will publish in the near term as it concurrently matures offtake discussions with interested parties.

With the latest batch of assays confirming Kangankunde is nothing short of a deep-rooted beast, the company now has more support to its claim that the deposit is “the rare earths king”. It may just prove to be a world-leading source of the rare earths critical for the magnet components that turn electric vehicle power into motion.

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