Mt Monger has eyes on the rare earths prize at its new Canadian project
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Last month Mt Monger Resources announced plans to buy the Pomme hard rock rare earth element and niobium project in Quebec, Canada, from TSX listed explorer Geomega Resources for ~$1m in cash and shares plus a $2m exploration expenditure commitment.
The plan is to kick off exploration in May with the aim of discovering and defining a new rare earth element (REE) and niobium (Nb) resource in Québec.
Two holes from Pomme back in 2012 both returned thick mineralised intersections interspersed with high grade zones, including a highlight 508.3m at 0.43% TREO, 413ppm Nb2O5 and 1.48% P2O5, from 73.7m depth.
Mt Monger (ASX:MTM) MD Lachlan Reynolds says the historic drilling confirms that it’s a carbonatite-hosted deposit, containing very broad zones of REE-Nb mineralisation downhole.
“The Pomme REE-Nb project was recognised as an excellent technical exploration opportunity from the moment that we started to evaluate it,” he said.
“This drilling has never been followed-up. It is rare that a project with the outstanding early drill results and such significant geological potential can be secured at the pre-resource exploration stage.
“In our opinion, this recent acquisition is a highly positive outcome for Mt Monger Resources and we look forward to commencing the exploration program, with the objective of defining a new rare earth element resource in Québec.”
The company says Pomme appears to have similar geology and mineralisation to Geomega’s advanced 266Mt Montviel carbonatite REE-Nb deposit, just 7km away.
“The proximity of Pomme to Montviel gives us confidence about both the potential for discovery of a resource and a huge strategic advantage with respect to operational logistics and the opportunity to be part of a much larger future mining development,” Reynolds said.
As an added bonus, the project is also carbonatite-hosted REE and Nb mineralisation.
“Worldwide, carbonatites are the major sources of both REE and niobium and are characterised by significant enrichment in light REE including valuable neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr),” Reynolds added.
“However, carbonatites are relatively rare rocks and even fewer occurrences contain economic resources.
“Consequently, the supply of REE and Nb from these sources has been heavily constrained.”
Québec is also a well-known and consistently highly rated operating jurisdiction for exploration and mining.
Reynolds says the acquisition is a strategic decision by the company to invest into the critical minerals sector of the industry.
“It is highly complementary to our existing REE mineral exploration project portfolio and it provides us with a very strong opportunity to discover and develop a resource in the near term, which will add much value to MTM as a company,” he said.
“REE and Nb have properties that make them very useful for a wide variety of modern decarbonisation technologies and an essential part of the global energy transition.
“Therefore, we see a favourable outlook in terms of long-term commodity demand and price that gives us confidence that it will be a valuable acquisition.”
Not to mention, REE and niobium have been designated as critical minerals in Canada principally due to their importance in the global clean energy transition and in the manufacture of advanced technologies.
“Like Australia, Canada is keen to expand and diversify their supplies of these metals,” Reynolds added.
The company is planning to undertake an initial 5,000 diamond drilling program at Pomme – and is well funded to do so.
Reynolds says the program should give MTM the opportunity to get a much more thorough understanding of the 3D geology of the carbonatite intrusive and maximise its chances of intersecting a REE-Nb mineralised zone that could be developed into a resource.
“By analogy with the nearby Montviel deposit, we expect that the best grades and continuity of mineralisation will be hosted within a particular part of the intrusive and/or controlled by specific structures and the challenge for us is to identify these zones,” he said.
“Subject to obtaining the relevant permits and consultation with the local Waswanipi Cree First Nation community we expect to commence the drilling in May after the spring thaw.
“The mineralisation is coarse grained and can be identified in drill core so we should get immediate geological feedback as the drilling progresses.
“Depending on current laboratory turnaround times, assay results should start to flow from the drilling in June.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Mt Monger Resources Limited, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.