Phase 1 assay results from Monte Muambe rare earth project in Mozambique has shown significant rare earth elements (REE) levels across multiple target areas.
AQSE-listed Altona revealed the results and said significant levels of neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) were identified. The results show individual intercepts with up to 7.24% total rare earth oxides and up to 1.21% NdPrOx.
Out of the six targets drilled, four have significant REE mineralisation and warrant follow-up, with two of these being new discoveries. NdPr are the key metals used in the manufacture of permanent magnets for the drive trains in electric vehicles and in wind turbines.
Monte Muambe is hosted in a 4km diameter circular carbonatite intrusion and is located in Tete Province, Northwestern Mozambique. The project is held under Prospecting Licence 7573L. The tenement has a surface area of 39.39 km2, within which there are no human settlements.
Open pit mining
Altona entered into an agreement on 24 June 2021 to acquire up to 70% of the project by fulfilling phase work commitments and payments to its original owners. Phase 1 comprised 590 m of diamond drilling and 2 541 m of reverse circulation drilling.
Phase 2 drilling will start in April and endure for 12 months. While Altona spent £580 000 on Phase 1, it plans to spend about £1.2-million on Phase 2. The project has the potential to host a REE deposit amenable to open pit mining.
Mozambique is a stable country with a well-developed exploration and mining industry, trained workforce, and available drilling and exploration contractors. The project is also located in a province of Mozambique which hosts several operating coal mines, a major iron mining and steel manufacturing project, and many exploration projects for a wide range of commodities.
“Our goal is to fill a significant gap in the global REE supply chain as demand for NdPr and the other critical metals continues to rise. This early success at Monte Muambe, together with our developing African infrastructure, increases Altona’s opportunity to become a serious partner to any of the major manufacturers, which rely upon a sustainable supply of critical rare earth metals,” said CE Christian Taylor-Wilkinson.