ASX-listed Lindian Resources has announced “excellent grades” for its Phase 1 drilling programme at the Kangankunde rare earths project in Malawi.
The assays, which were reported for five reverse circulation (RC) holes, revealed high-grade non-radioactive material for their entire lengths, from surface to end-of-hole (EOH), with a large percentage of the critical rare earths metal elements neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr).
NdPr is used in the manufacturing of high-performance magnets, which are used in electric vehicles and renewable energy systems.
“These assays are . . . encouraging from the perspective of the size of the mineralised body, as we have continued to intersect very broad, high-grade intercepts of non-radioactive mineralisation from surface, with all holes terminating in mineralisation,” Lindian CEO Alastair Stephens said.
He added that hole KGKRC007, which is located on the western edge of the carbonatite, was the highest grading hole to date, providing a high degree of confidence that the assay grade of the central carbonatite unit is likely to be largely consistent throughout and to depth.
“In addition, we are highly encouraged by what we have encountered in hole KGKRC010, as it is the first time we have drill-tested the mixed breccia zone of carbonatite and altered wall rock which borders the high-grade carbonatite, and to have intersected 138 m grading 1.47% in material that we anticipated to be much lower grade is very significant and builds the case that the breccia surrounding and intruding into the carbonatite on the edges could host significant additional rare earths mineralisation,” Stephens said.
Hole KGKRC007 had an average grade of 2.97% total rare earth oxide (TREO) over 186 m from surface to EOH, while KGKRC005 had an average grade of 2.76% TREO over 117 m from surface to EOH. KGKRC009 showed an average grade of 2.14% TREO over 131 m from surface to EOH, and KGKRC011 had an average grade of 2.68% TREO over 32 m from surface to EOH.
Holes KGKRC005, KGKRC007 and KGKRC009 will be extended by core drilling.
The rare earths critical metal elements of NdPr had an average ratio of 19% of TREO content, with very low average uranium and thorium levels.
As of January 21, 32 RC holes for 5 551 m and four core holes for 834 m have been drilled at Kangangunde, with assays reported for the first 11 holes, covering 1 817 m.
Lindian said it planned to continue its exploration and development efforts at the project, with the goal of bringing it into production in the near future.
“All our efforts are focused on delivering the maiden mineral resource estimate in quarter two and preliminary metallurgical test work results this quarter. With these latest results, we remain on track to achieve these milestones.
“With a fully permitted mining project, we are . . . well-placed to advance Kangankunde’s development,” Stephens said.