Defense Metals Updated Beneficiation Results Confirm the Production of a High Grade Flotation Concentrate at High Recovery
Defense Metals Corp., a mineral exploration and development company, has announced positive results from the recent comminution and beneficiation test work conducted by SGS Canada Inc. on samples from the Wicheeda Rare Earth deposit. The tests were aimed at confirming the reagent suite and operating parameters developed in earlier testwork and in the 2020 flotation pilot plant.
The results of the tests are extremely promising, showing that the Wicheeda feedstock can be crushed, ground, and floated to produce a rare earth flotation product with similar or even better recoveries and grades compared to the top producers globally. This is a significant development for Defense Metals as it demonstrates the potential for the Wicheeda project to become a major player in the rare earth element market.
Craig Taylor, CEO of Defense Metals, expressed his satisfaction with the results, stating, “Our project has many favorable conditions for success: mineralogy, metallurgy, infrastructure, and community collaboration further supporting a path to production.” These factors, combined with the positive test results, bode well for the future of the Wicheeda project.
The Wicheeda deposit consists of three key rare earth-bearing lithologies: dolomite carbonatite, xenolithic carbonatite, and syenite. The comminution and beneficiation tests were conducted on samples representing these lithologies, and the results showed high recovery rates and concentrate grades. The primary rare earth minerals found in the deposit are monazite, bastnäsite, and synchysite/parisite.
The test work was carried out by a team headed by Dr. Jing Liu, Senior Metallurgist at SGS. A total of 90 open-circuit flotation tests were conducted, and the best fit line indicated an impressive 80% recovery to a 45% TREO (total rare earth oxide) concentrate at a feed grade of 3%. Closed circuit operations, similar to those in a flotation plant, are expected to deliver even higher recovery and grade.
In addition to the flotation tests, comminution test work was also completed using standard Bond comminution tests and the SMC test, which measures the competence of primary grinding mill feed. The results showed relatively low grinding energy requirements, further supporting the economic viability of the project.
The Wicheeda project, located near Prince George, British Columbia, benefits from its proximity to infrastructure, including hydropower transmission lines, gas pipelines, the Canadian National Railway, and major highways. These advantages make it easily accessible and well-positioned for future development.
Defense Metals Corp. is traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “DEFN,” on the OTCQB under “DFMTF,” and on the Frankfurt Exchange under “35D.” The company is focused on the development of the Wicheeda Rare Earth Element project and is a proud member of the Discovery Group.
With the positive results from the comminution and beneficiation tests, Defense Metals Corp. is moving closer to realizing the full potential of the Wicheeda project. The company’s commitment to advancing the project, combined with the favorable market conditions for rare earth elements, positions Defense Metals as a key player in the industry. Investors and stakeholders can look forward to further updates and progress as the project moves towards production.