Follow Us! Like Our Page!

Defense Metals Updates Metallurgical Test Work and Preliminary Feasibility Study Progress for its Wicheeda Rare Earth Elements Project

Press Release

News Release – Vancouver, British Columbia – February 13, 2024: Defense Metals Corp. (Defense Metals or the Company) (TSX-V:DEFN / OTCQB:DFMTF / FSE:35D) is pleased to provide an update on the metallurgical work programs, undertaken by SGS Canada Inc. (SGS) and the ongoing Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS) work by SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. (SRK) and Hatch Limited (Hatch), for its wholly-owned Wicheeda Rare Earth Element Project located in British Columbia, Canada.

Highlights of Metallurgical Test Work and PFS-related Matters

The metallurgical test work required for the PFS has been completed. Multiple bench-scale flotation and flotation pilot plant test work resulted in the production of a high-grade mineral concentrate containing 50% Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) with an 80% recovery rate, which will be included in the PFS for the first 8 years of mine-life.

Bench-scale and hydrometallurgical pilot plant test work shows that the planned acid bake process will deliver approximately 90% TREO extraction from the mineral concentrate to a Mixed Rare Earth Carbonate product.

The PFS plant flowsheets are completed, based on the metallurgical test work, and equipment specifications have been issued to vendors for cost quotations.

The field-based geotechnical, geochemical and environmental test work required for the PFS has been completed and lab-based studies are in progress.

Other PFS tasks, including open pit mine design and tailings storage trade-off studies, are well advanced.

Economic evaluation and cashflow modelling are in progress.

PFS report completion in the second quarter of 2024 is on schedule.

Eleven mixed rare earth precipitate samples from the hydrometallurgical test work have been sent to potential partners, processors or end-users.

Over the past 5 years, Defense Metals drilled 58 core holes totalling 12,073 metres (m; ~39,610 feet) to define the Wicheeda Rare Earth Element (REE) deposit and provide samples for metallurgical test work. This work resulted in measured and indicated (M+I) resources of 34.2 million tonnes, averaging 2.02% TREO1, inclusive of 17.8million tonnes of high-grade dolomite carbonatite averaging 2.92% TREO, in addition to inferred resources of 11.1 million tonnes, averaging 1.02% TREO. This represents a 260% increase over the Defense Metals initial 2019 mineral resource estimate, and a conversion to M+I of 101% of the prior 2021 mineral resource estimate.

Total expenditures on the Wicheeda REE Project since 2019, including costs for mineral resource estimate definition, all metallurgical test work, earlier studies and the remaining PFS-related costs are in excess of CAD $17.5 million.

Defense Metals has entered into a strategic Co-Design Agreement with the McLeod Lake Indian Band (MLIB), the First Nations community having the traditional territory on which the Wicheeda Project sits.

Craig Taylor, CEO of Defense Metals, stated:

“Continuing positive results from our technical studies suggest that our wholly-owned Wicheeda REE Project has the potential to become the next producer of rare earth elements in North America accounting for a significant amount of the rare earths needed for the western world’s future magnet metal production. We look forward to completing and filing the PFS for the Wicheeda REE Project in Q2-2024 and, subject to financing, moving directly into our feasibility study.”

For further information, please visit or contact:

Todd Hanas, Bluesky Corporate Communications Ltd. Vice President, Investor Relations Tel: (778) 994 8072


Read More:



NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More