Namibia Critical Metals to pilot test Lofdal rare earth elements deposit

March 03, 2023

Namibia Critical Metals Inc. has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with SGS Canada to begin pilot plant testing on a 5-tonne sample from the Lofdal HREE Deposit in Q3 2023.

The company aims to scale up laboratory flotation tests, including locked-cycle testing, to increase the confidence in metallurgy, confirm engineering design criteria for PFS capital and operating cost estimation, and provide a larger amount of material for hydrometallurgical testing.

Darrin Campbell, President of Namibia Critical Metals expressed his excitement about the progress made in the early weeks of 2023. “This year is expected to be one of the most impactful periods in our corporate development as we continue to accelerate pilot plant testing through feasibility to production,” he added.

This development comes on the back of a successful preliminary economic assessment (PEA) study conducted in 2022, which showed that the Lofdal project has the potential to be a "significantly" bigger operation than previously thought. The PEA estimated initial capital costs, with a 30% contingency, at US$207-million, with a payback of 3.2 years.

Lofdal has a projected output of 2,000 t/y of total REO, including 117 t/y of dysprosium and 17.5 t/y of terbium, with a mine life of 16 years. The PEA is based on mining only 26-million tonnes of resource, or about 50% of the 53-million tonnes in the mineral resource estimate of June 2021. Additionally, the project is expected to have 13-million tonnes of low-grade stockpile which could expand the life-of-mine.

According to Namibia Critical Metals, the objective of the pilot plant test program is to advance the project from the PEA to the pre-feasibility study phase, which will include additional testing of the hydrometallurgical circuit.

"We look forward to working with SGS Canada, a world-renowned service provider, to take this next step in the development of the Lofdal project,” said Gerard Holden, Namibia Critical Metals’ Vice President of Exploration and Development.

The mining and exploration company aims to become a significant producer of critical metals such as dysprosium, terbium, and other high-value rare earth metals. The project's progress is a boost for Namibia's economy, as it will provide jobs and boost the country's revenue.

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Last modified on Sunday, 05 March 2023 10:14

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