Defense Metals Corp. ("Defense Metals" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the completion of Phase II hydrometallurgical pilot plant test work for its wholly-owned Wicheeda Rare Earth Element ("REE") Project and commencement of Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) work.
John Goode, Defense Metals' metallurgical consultant, noted: "With the completion of the recent beneficiation testwork and hydrometallurgical testwork and pilot plant operations, we are now ready to provide our engineering consultants, with the metallurgical test data necessary for them to commence the design work that forms a critical part of the Wicheeda project Pre-feasibility Study."
Defense Metals intends to complete the PFS during H1-2024.
As reported on April 25, 2023, Defense Metals completed a Phase I (5 day) hydrometallurgical pilot plant operation in April 2023 and used data generated during that test work to design an expanded Phase II (10 day) pilot plant operation. Phase II operations were performed by SGS Canada Inc. at Lakefield, Ontario and were completed on May 3, 2023, after processing 370 kg of flotation concentrate produced in an earlier flotation pilot plant operation (see Defense Metals' news release dated September 23, 2020).
The results of the Phase II pilot plant operation confirm the Phase I results achieving extraction of Pr (praseodymium) and Nd (neodymium) from the acid bake calcine of more than 90%. Significantly, the mixed rare earth product generated by the Phase II operation was markedly higher in purity than that of the Phase I operation because of a change to oxalate precipitation.
Based on the results of the Phase I and Phase II pilot plants Defense Metals believes it now has all metallurgical test data necessary to support the Pre-feasibility Study.