Explorer Renews Rare Earths Campaign in BC

This firm is getting drills turning and renewing its seek for uncommon earth components in Canada, hoping to cut back the West’s dependence on sources from China.

Protection Metals Corp. (DEFN:TSX.V; DFMTF:OTCQB; 35D:FSE) introduced that it has began one other 5,000-meter diamond drilling marketing campaign at its Wicheeda uncommon earth aspect (REE) deposit in British Columbia.

The corporate hopes to provide as a lot as 10 p.c of the world’s mild REEs to assist it compete with China, which has about 85% of the world’s REE processing capability. And the corporate stated it’s testing a brand new extraction course of that would enhance its output.

“An enormous, non-China, uncommon earth metals mission that comes on-line in a jurisdiction like Canada can be gold mud for traders,” wrote Stuart Fieldhouse, who follows the mining sector for The Armchair Dealer. “We’re already dealing with huge demand for uncommon earth metals from the automotive sector, and that’s simply more likely to enhance over time.”

The brand new economic system is demanding extra REEs, that are utilized in purifying water, MRIs, fertilizers, weapons analysis, wind generators, and everlasting magnet motors for electrical automobiles.

Primarily based on the outcomes of the corporate’s 2021 drilling for the minerals at Wicheeda, analysts are bullish on the mission’s prospects.

“In our view, the Wicheeda Uncommon Earth Undertaking is shaping up properly, and progress-to-date bodes effectively for a compelling preliminary feasibility research,” Noble Capital Markets pure sources analyst Mark Reichman stated in a analysis report on April 28. “Primarily based on excellent outcomes from the Fall 2021 program together with deliberate drilling, the potential to broaden and improve the useful resource is critical. We anticipate curiosity in offtake agreements and/or strategic partnerships to develop as the corporate advances towards a PFS.”

New Uncommon Earth Components Extraction Course of on Horizon


The brand new drilling program is utilizing current drill pads ready in 2021 within the northern space of the Wicheeda deposit, which returned among the highest-grade intercepts. Two holes there returned 3.79% whole uncommon earth oxides (TREO) over 150 meters, together with 4.77% TREO over 60 meters extending 80 meters past the present mineral useful resource and 40 meters past the constraining pit shell, the corporate stated.

This interval included 12 meters averaging 8.06%, Protection Metals stated, and contained the very best mixed neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) oxide worth so far at Wicheeda of 1.41% NdPr oxide at 10% TREO.

“An enormous, non-China, uncommon earth metals mission that comes on-line in a jurisdiction like Canada can be gold mud for traders.”

—Stuart Fieldhouse of The Armchair Dealer

Drilling within the north might be adopted by exploration drilling west of Wicheeda, the place holes drilled in 2009 revealed visible indications of potential REE mineralization.

Protection Metals is now testing an acid bake extraction course of for REEs that it stated may doubtlessly decrease capital and working prices. It makes use of concentrated sulfuric acid at excessive temperatures to transform the REEs to water-soluble sulfates, which then dissolve throughout a water leach, the corporate stated. The REEs are then recovered utilizing a precipitation course of.

Acid baking would enable for a greater than 95% restoration price for REEs, versus lower than 90% with the choice caustic cracking course of, Protection Metals President and Director Luisa Moreno advised Streetwise Studies. Testing for the brand new course of will doubtless be completed by the final quarter of this 12 months.

“The method requires much less tools and entails fewer steps and circuits,” Reichman of Noble Capital Markets wrote on June 1. “A lot of the world’s uncommon earth components are produced utilizing the acid-bake course of.”

Our Means of Life Depends upon It, Firm Says


The 2021 preliminary financial evaluation (PEA) for Wicheeda demonstrated an after-tax web current worth of CA$512 million for the location. Its 43-101 technical report confirmed a 5 million tonne indicated useful resource at 2.95% TREO and a 29.5 million tonne inferred useful resource averaging 1.83% TREO from 4,000 meters of drilling.

The U.S. authorities has realized the significance of REEs. It introduced a $35 million Protection Division grant in February to MP Supplies Corp. (MP:NYSE) to separate and course of REEs at its California facility. The corporate has additionally agreed to take a position one other $700 million to create greater than 350 jobs within the everlasting magnet sector by 2024.           

“Our lifestyle depends upon superior supplies,” Moreno advised Forbes. “From the automobile we drive to the buildings that home us.”

Protection metals has a market cap of CA$41.26 million with 183.4 million shares excellent, 180.5 million of them floating. It trades on a 52-week vary of CA$0.36 and CA$0.20.

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1) Steve Sobek compiled this text for Streetwise Studies LLC. He or members of his family personal securities of the next corporations talked about within the article: None. He and members of his family are paid by the next corporations talked about on this article: None.
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