On November 18, 2020 Defense Metals (DEFN.V) announced a significant operational update from its 4,220 acre Wicheeda Rare Earth Element (REE) Property, located close to existing infrastructure near Prince George, British Columbia, BC).
The Wicheeda project has indicated mineral resources of 4,890,000 tonnes averaging 3.02% LREO (Light Rare Earth Elements) and inferred mineral resources of 12,100,000 tonnes averaging 2.90% LREO.
Flotation pilot-plant processing of a 26-tonne bulk sample of Wicheeda REE material yielded a mineral concentrate averaging 7.4% NdPr oxide (neodymium-praseodymium) critical magnet metals.
DEFN recently completed:
- Meteorological station installation
- Stream flow monitoring
- Property-wide high resolution airborne LiDaR (Light Detection and Ranging) survey
These three developments are part of its ongoing baseline environmental monitoring program.
Environmental work doesn’t stimulate investor interest like a fat drill intercept, but the work is vital to the success of a mining project.
It’s like a baker kneading the dough – neglect this step and the bread ain’t gunna rise.
Two environmental companies were commissioned to complete an assessment of regional climate data to support baseline monitoring activities and meteorological station installation at the Wicheeda REE Project.
The regulatory requirement is for a minimum of two years of project-specific baseline data collection.
As the Wicheeda REE Project advances, these data are analyzed along with regional climate data to characterize the project area and provide inputs to design and permitting.
The Wicheeda site meteorological station install allows for continuous real-time telemetry monitored data collection including; precipitation, barometric pressure, solar radiation snow depth, wind speed and direction parameters.
EDI Environmental Dynamics of Prince George, BC has completed hydrometric station installs within the Wicheeda REE Project.
Hydrometric stations area designed to collect stream flow data “in accordance with BC hydrometric standards for Grade A provincial standards in support of potential future project applications including: major mine permit applications”.
Defense Metals has also retained a mapping company to collect LiDAR and color aerial photography over the Wicheeda REE Project.
“The LiDAR will be collected at a minimum density of 8 points-per-square-metre,” explains DEFN, “Expected absolute accuracies of the LiDAR data will be less than +/- 15cm in the vertical and +/- 30cm in the horizontal. The color photography will be triangulated and orthorectified to the LiDAR bare earth model to produce an orthophoto mosaic with a 13 cm pixel resolution.”
“I totally understand what you just said,” stated No Retail Investor Ever.
“LiDAR uses a pulsed laser to calculate an object’s variable distances from the earth surface,” explains Geospatial World, “These light pulses — put together with the information collected by the airborne system — generate accurate 3D information about the earth surface and the target object.
“Most government and private organizations use helicopters, drones and airplanes for acquiring LiDAR data”.
“Defense Metals continues to advance the Wicheeda REE Project through completion of its highly successful 2020 updated mineral resource estimate, 26 tonne flotation pilot plant, and long-term baseline environmental mentoring programs,” states Craig Taylor, CEO of Defense Metals.
“The Fortress Value Acquisition’s USD $1.4 billion merger with MP Materials/Mountain Pass and listing on the NYSE has further added awareness to the REE industry,” continued Taylor, “and we anticipate that this sector will continue to attract the attention of investors, governments, and consumers all around the world.”
The U.S objective to de-couple from the China supply chain creates a strong tailwind for North American DEFN.
The FVAC/MP Materials news suggests a future where DEFN will have the ability to process its ore in North America.
Some investors have speculated that a Joe Biden Presidential win [yes – that just happened] is a negative for DEFN, because Biden will cozy up to the Chinese – and hell – why not just keep buying all the REEs from China?
“In the long run I think the U.S. will continue to maintain an adversarial relationship with China,” countered @zentrarian yesterday on the vibrant CEO.ca investor bull-board, “Regardless of who is in office, the U.S. always needs to have an enemy to blame its problems on, whether that’s justified or not, and clearly, China is the new boogyman.”
This writer has roots in China and a deep affection for the people. I’ve learned not to talk about China at dinner parties. Especially with Americans. Fact: the communist government dragged 500 million people out of poverty in half a generation. That’s not nothing. They also – apparently – know how to lick a pandemic.
That said – @zentratian is right. Political optics aside. China is bungling its moment (we don’t need another global bully). This is not Biden’s first canoe trip. There is a zero chance that he will “cozy up to the Chinese”.
“The FVAC-MP Materials special meeting represents a significant milestone in the establishment of a North American critical magnet metals supply chain,” states DEFN, “If approved, the combined company created by the FVAC-MP Materials merger would have an estimated post-transaction equity value of approximately $1.5 billion.”
DEFN has a current market cap of $10.7 million Canadian dollars.
“Completion of high-resolution airborne LiDaR surveys allow for enhanced planning of critical project infrastructure,” concluded Taylor, “as we look forward to the potential development of the Wicheeda REE Project.”
- Lukas Kane
Full Disclosure: Defense Metals is an Equity Guru marketing client.