Namibia Rare Earths Inc. (TSX:NRE,OTCQX:NMREF) is a Canadian mineral exploration and development company focused on the development of its 100% owned Lofdal Rare Earth Project in Namibia in southern Africa. Lofdal is an early stage, district scale exploration project, but has demonstrated the potential for the discovery of deposits that are exceptionally enriched with heavy rare earth elements (REE). The Company has already established a 43-101 compliant mineral resource and is moving forward with metallurgical studies to accelerate development of the project with strategic mining partners to take the project into production.
- Company carries no debt and has over 10 million (CAD) cash reserves
- Heavy REE project with NI-43101 compliant resource estimate (0.6% TREO)
- Management team with proven track record of discovery and development
- 100% control of Lofdal project in a new under-explored REE district
- 85% heavy rare-earth enrichment, open at depth which is amenable to open-pit mining
- Over 90% of the value lies in the four most critical heavy rare earths (Dy, Tb, Eu, and Y)
- Potentially the first sustainable source of heavy rare earths outside of China
The Lofdal Rare Earths Project – Windhoek, Namibia
The Lofdal Rare Earths Project is located approximately 450 kilometers northwest of the capital city of Windhoek, Namibia approximately 25 kilometers northwest of the town of Khorixas in the Kunene Region of northwestern Namibia. The Lofdal Rare Earths Project property covers a total of 573 square kilometers centered on the Lofdal carbonatite complex. Rare earth element mineralization at Lofdal is closely associated with the carbonatite dykes and related hydrothermal alteration. Of particular interest is the frequent enrichment of heavy rare earths in mineralized zones. It is thought that the heavy rare earth-rich mineralization is dominantly a hydrothermal event, that occurred relatively late in the history of the 2 billion year old complex.
The Lofdal Rare Earths Project has been developed over a very short period of time since the recognition of the underexplored mineral district in 2008. From discovery of enriched REE zones in 2010, to the delineation of a first mineral resource in 2012 marks the relative speed of the project’s development. The potential of Lofdal to host a number of new rare earth deposits, particularly, deposits with exceptional zones of heavy enrichment is substantial.
In 2010 a detailed sampling and prospecting program was carried out to provide sufficient information for a 43-101 compliant technical report for the purpose of listing Namibia Rare Earths on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In 2011, the Company achieved the listing and carried out a comprehensive exploration program with 9,500 meters of diamond drilling at Lofdal. This was to test a variety of REE targets on the property, which confirmed significant rare earth mineralization on all 16 drill targets. The detailed exploration confirmed areas with some of the highest levels of heavy rare enrichment known in the world. The objective of the program was to identify a suitable target for the development of an NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate by mid-2012. The target identified as “Area 4” was selected for this purpose and in January 2012 a 6,000 meter diamond drilling program was undertaken.
The resource estimate completed by Namibia Rare Earths in Area 4 comprises an Indicated resource of 900,000 tonnes at a grade of 0.62% total rare earth oxide (“TREO”) with 86% heavy rare earth enrichment and an Inferred resource of 750,000 tonnes at a grade of 0.56% TREO with 85% HREE, using a 0.3% cut-off.
Value of Heavy Rare Earths
There are further opportunities to increase the size of their resource through successful completion of a metallurgical study, as well as in-fill drilling. The resource at Area 4 has only been drilled to a depth of 150m (vertical) and is open at depth. Drilling to deeper depths and step-out drilling along trend is planned to further define the resource; as is drilling several other targets of interest at Lofdal. This drill program has the potential to significantly increase resource tonnage and extend the potential mine life of the project.
The US Department of Energy has identified dysprosium, neodymium, terbium, europium and yttrium as the most critical rare earths. They have defined criticality as a measure that combines importance to the economy and risk of supply disruption. Currently more than 95% of production of rare-earth metals is based in mainland China and predictions from the European Union raise concerns that, in the long term, China may only be able to produce enough heavy rare-earth metals to satisfy its own needs. This may trigger a significant supply shortage for the rest of the world. Heavy rare earths are an integral part of the both clean energy technology and data storage; both of these areas are expected to increase substantially in the next five years. The “big four” of dysprosium, yttrium, terbium, and europium are abundant at Lofdal; with the majority of the deposit’s value based on these four heavy metals alone.
Dysprosium only comprises 8% of the rare earths mix at Lofdal, but because of its high price, it represents 45% of the value.
Namibia Rare Earths Inc. is a Nova Scotia, Canada based mineral exploration and development company with a 100% ownership stake in the Lofdal Rare Earth Project located in Namibia. Recent resource estimates completed on the project have proven the high value content of heavy rare earths. The exceptional level of heavy rare earths enrichments puts the Lofdal project in a class by itself, may provide the first source of sustainable heavy rare earths outside of China. The company is well financed, carries no corporate debt and has an experienced management team with a proven track record of mine development.
Gerald J. McConnell, Q.C. – Chief Executive Officer
Mr. McConnell was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Etruscan Resources Inc. (now a wholly owned subsidiary of Endeavour Mining Corporation), from June 1990 to February 28, 2010. Mr. McConnell is a director of NovaGold Resources Inc. (TSX; NYSE-AMEX) since he founded that company in 1984 and served as president from December 1984 to January 1998. Mr. McConnell was called to the Bar of Nova Scotia in 1971 and was an associate and partner with the law firm, Patterson Palmer, in Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1971 to 1987. He received his Queen’s Counsel designation in 1986. In 2003, Mr. McConnell received the Paul Harris Award from Rotary International in recognition of ERI’s humanitarian contributions to health and education initiatives in Africa.
Donald M. Burton, MSC., P.Geo – President
Mr. Burton is a Professional Geologist with over 25 years of international experience in exploration. Over the past 15 years as Vice President Exploration and later as Vice President Corporate Development, he was responsible for the development of all of the exploration projects of Etruscan Resources Inc. (now Endeavour Mining Corporation) in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Namibia. During this period, two projects evolved into operating gold mines and a third project is at the feasibility stage. He initiated Etruscan’s entry into Namibia in 2005 and has overseen the development of the Lofdal Rare Earths Project. Mr. Burton holds a B.Sc. (Honours) in Earth Sciences from the University of Waterloo (1978) and a M.Sc. in Geology from the University of New Brunswick (1984) and is a Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada and of the Society of Economic Geologists. He is also a member of the Association of Professional Geologists of Nova Scotia.
Teri Anderson, CA – Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Anderson is a Chartered Accountant and has been providing contract services to both public and private companies since 1999. She currently serves as Chief Financial Officer for Mountain Lake Resources Inc. (TSX.V) and Buchans Minerals Corporation (TSX.V). From 1994 to 1999, she held several management positions in the corporate finance group of Nova Scotia Power (now Emera Inc.), a TSX-listed energy company, including corporate accounting, budgeting, and investor relations. From 1989 to 1994, she practiced public accounting with Ernst & Young LLP. Ms. Anderson received her B.Sc. Biology from Acadia University in 1986, her Chartered Accountant designation in 1991, and her Masters of Business Administration from Dalhousie University in 1994.
Janice A. Stairs, LLB, MBA – General Council & Corporate Secretary
Ms. Stairs has over 25 years’ experience working with companies involved in the resource sector. Ms. Stairs is currently General Counsel to Namibia Rare Earths Inc., a TSX listed explorer focused in Namibia. Prior to joining Namibia Rare Earths in September 2011, Ms. Stairs was General Counsel to Endeavour Mining Corporation, a position she assumed in September 2010 after Endeavour acquired Etruscan Resources Inc. where Ms. Stairs had held the positions of Vice President and General Counsel since 2004. Prior to 2004, Ms. Stairs was a partner with the law firm of McInnes Cooper (formerly Patterson Palmer) located in Halifax, Nova Scotia and she continues to act as counsel to the firm. Ms. Stairs practiced law in private practice for almost 20 years specializing in corporate finance, securities and resource-related issues for private and public companies. Ms. Stairs is a director of NovaCopper Inc. and a director and Chair of Nova Scotia Business Inc., a Nova Scotia crown corporation established to promote economic development in Nova Scotia.
Franck Bizouerne – Exploration Manager
Mr. Bizouerne is a professional geologist with over 15 years of experience in Africa specializing in gold and uranium exploration. From 1997 to 2006, Mr. Bizouerne designed and managed multiple field exploration programs for the BRGM in Madagascar, and for AREVA in Madagascar, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Niger. In 2006, he joined Etruscan Resources Inc. as Exploration Manager where he headed up exploration teams responsible for regional programs throughout Burkina Faso including exploration and development of the Youga gold deposits in Burkina Faso. In 2011, Mr. Bizouerne joined Namibia Rare Earths Inc. as Exploration Manager based in Namibia. Mr. Bizouerne is a graduate of the Geological Institute Albert de Lapparent (IGAL) in France (1997).