The Gakara basket is weighted heavily towards the magnet rare earths, including neodymium and praseodymium. These REEs are driving demand and account for 70 percent of annual global REE sales due to their use as vital components in motors generators wind turbines and electric vehicles.
Rainbow Rare Earths (LSE:RBW) has released the results from its maiden drilling campaign at its Gakara Project in Burundi. According to the company, Gakara is one of the highest grade rare earth element mining projects globally, with an estimated in situ vein grade of 47-67 percent Total Rare Earth Oxide, and the company is targeting to ramp up production to an annualized rate of 5,000 tonnes per year (approximately 400 tonnes per month) by the end of calendar year 2018.
As quoted from the press release:
- Laboratory results from the Kiyenzi drill cores have confirmed initial field analysis of the presence of multiple intersections of high grade REE
- Test highlights include 6.5m @ 7.1 percent TREO (including 44cm @ 35.3 percent TREO) and 1m @ 27.8 percent TREO (including 50cm at 30.34 percent TREO)
- Mineralisation at Kiyenzi is contained within a breccia pipe structure, in which REE minerals are interspersed with non REE-containing rocks. This implies lower average grades per tonne, but much wider mineralised zones and therefore greater tonnages, and simpler, faster mining
- As previously announced, Rainbow will now proceed with the Phase-2 exploration campaign with an aim of delivering a code-compliant resource by the end of 2018
“We were anticipating some exciting mineralization at Kiyenzi following our original field testing, and these laboratory results now confirm it. The thickness of the breccia deposit is likely to add many more tonnes to our code-compliant resource, targeted for this year, and should also be better suited to mechanized mining,” said Martin Eales, CEO of Rainbow.
He continued, “Phase-2 drilling starts within the next month at Kiyenzi and we look forward to incorporating these results, as well as other areas within the Gakara project, into our targeted maiden resource later this year with a view of further ramping up our production of REE concentrate in the near-term to achieve our 6,000tpa run rate target by the end of 2019.”