Tantalus Rare Earths AG

EANS-News: Tantalus Rare Earths AG
Drilling Update (with document)


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Company Information/Drilling Update


Düsseldorf (euro adhoc) - Tantalus Rare Earths AG
Drilling Update


(Tantalus Rare Earths AG, Düsseldorf, June 28th 2011) The Directors of Tantalus
Rare Earths AG ("TRE"), the German exploration company exploring a primary
bedrock rare earth mineralisation and a very extensive, secondary rare earth
mineralisation at surface in north-western Madagascar (the "TRE Project"), are
pleased to provide the following update on its exploration activities.

Highlights:


•      Latest drilling results confirm the top surface layer contains continuous
rare earth ("REE") mineralisation.
 
•      The ratio of more valuable heavy rare earths to light rare earths is
consistently in the range of 20:80.

•      China Nonferrous Metal Industry´s Foreign Engineering & Construction Co.
LTD recently conducted a field visit and sampled the REE bearing argillaceous
laterites.  The samples are currently being analysed and processed in China. 
China Nonferrous Metals´ technical staff believe these argillaceous laterites
are potentially comparable to the heavy REE ("HREE") bearing clays mined in
southern China.  As previously announced, TRE entered into a memorandum of
understanding with China Nonferrous Metals.

•      TRE is conducting metallurgical testwork in three separate laboratories,
one in conjunction with China Nonferrous Metals in China, one in Germany and one
in South Africa. The aim of the test work is to identify as soon as possible a
low-cost extraction process through leaching or combined magnetic/gravity
separation.  Initial test work suggests a combined magnetic/gravity concentrate
of mineral phases containing REE, plus tantalum, niobium, zirconium, tin and
perhaps gallium can be extracted, which has potential to add significant value
to the project.

•      Pitting on Target 4, which potentially has REE bearing argillaceous
laterites over 30 sq km, is progressing well.  To-date, 113 pits have been
excavated, with another 14 in progress.

•      The first of five `man portable´ drill rigs ("window samplers") have
reached the site, with the remaining four expected to arrive in early July 2011.

•      Diamond drilling has continued on the hard rock REE target sites.  At
Target 1 - Ampasibitika, a total of 11,151 m has been drilled to date.

•      The Group recently hired eight Malagasy junior geologists in order to
accelerate its exploration activities and now employs a total of two senior
geologists and 12 junior geologists.


Background:

The TRE Project is an exploration project located in north-western Madagascar
and comprises rare earth-tantalum-niobium-zirconium-hafnium enriched dykes and
sills and REE bearing argillaceous laterites derived from the weathering of
underlying alkaline intrusives. Previous exploration, most notably an airborne
geophysical survey, has defined three main zones with bedrock REE
mineralisation, which TRE has targeted as separate prospects. These have been
identified as radiometric anomalous areas as well as from surface mapping and
sampling. The three main prospects for bedrock REE mineralisation are:
 
Target 1 - Ampasibitika - approximately 6 km long this target is located on the
north eastern coastal regions of the Ampasibitika intrusion; drilling to date
has concentrated here,

Target 2 - Ambaliha - around 3 km long this target has three sub-parallel
anomalous areas to the north west of Ampasibitika; and

Target 3 - Befitina - two sub-parallel, approximately 3 km long zones of minor
dykes and REE mineralised argillaceous laterites to the west and south west of
the Ampasibitika intrusion.
 
There are early indications that in fact most of the alkaline intrusive bodies
are overlain by REE bearing argillaceous laterites. TRE is therefore considering
the whole area underlain by alkaline intrusives (150 to 170 km²) as prospective
for secondary REE mineralisation in the weathering crust. In a first step, TRE
has subdivided the following target zones:
 
Target 4 - Caldera, the centre of the Ampasibitika intrusion with a surface area
of approximately 31 km²;

Target 5 - Ampasibitika South, the southern 6 km long extension of Target 1;
besides REE bearing argillaceous laterites this prospect could also hold
primary, i.e. bedrock hosted REE mineralisation.

Target 6 - Antsirabe North, the area south of the main intrusion with a surface
area of approximately 8.5 km². 

The Argillaceous Laterites

Results for a further 38 diamond drill holes from Target 1 (Ampasibitika) have
been received (see Table 1 below).  All drill holes intersected REE
mineralisation in the overlaying layer of argillaceous laterites.  This further
confirms the occurrence of a widespread, continuous REE mineralisation in the
top surface layer.  

The latest results indicate average total rare earth oxide ("TREO") grades (771
ppm) and the percentage of heavy rare earth oxides (17% of TREO) of the
mineralised surface layer is slightly lower than in the previous sample batch.
However, the average thickness of the surface layer is considerably higher,
adding more tonnage of potential ore. The average thickness of these mineralised
argillaceous laterites is approximately 9 m, whereas earlier results indicated
an average thickness of 7.62 m. 

Average thorium and uranium grades remain low, with 51 ppm for ThO2 and 10 ppm
for U3O8. Gallium grades were again on average 38ppm Ga in the argillaceous
laterites. 

Core Drilling

Diamond drilling has continued on Target 1.  To date, a total of 11,151 m has
been drilled.  A large number of holes have intersected primary (i.e. vein and
skarn hosted) REE mineralisation.  Several drill holes have intersected multiple
mineralised zones, some of which are the widest mineralised zones so far
encountered, reaching locally 29 m drilled width. The percentage of heavy rare
earth oxides ("HREO") is constantly around 20% of TREO. Although the
mineralisation is relatively low grade, the higher proportion of more valuable
HREO suggests potentially high revenue per tonne if the ore proves amenable to a
low cost extraction process. 

Metallurgical Testwork

Detailed mineralogical work on the REE bearing argillaceous is ongoing and the
primary REE-Ta-Nb-Zr-mineralisation has already been studied in detail. The
secondary REE-(Ta-Nb-Zr) mineralisation of the argillaceous laterites is
undergoing detailed metallurgical testwork by both China Nonferrous Metals and
TRE´s independent metallurgical consultants, Metallicon in South Africa. These
studies aim to demonstrate as soon as possible that a low-cost leaching process
to recover the rare earths contained in the argillaceous laterites is possible. 

In addition to the leaching testwork, another sample has been submitted to a
third laboratory in Germany to test mineral separation by gravitational and
magnetic methods. First results indicate the possibility to recover not only the
rare earth bearing phases but additionally the tantalum, niobium, zirconium, tin
and perhaps gallium bearing phases by gravity and magnetic methods. TRE
considers this method has the potential to add significant value to the project.

Pitting Progress

Pitting on Target 4, the central part of the main south-eastern intrusion, is
progressing well. An earlier reconnaissance geochemical soil sampling survey has
indicated the potential presence of REE bearing argillaceous laterites.  With a
total surface area in the range of 30 sq km, this target may become one of the
major prospects of the Tantalus concession.  In a first step, pitting has been
done on a 100 m x 200 m grid.  In the outer parts pitting is done either on a
200 m x 200 m or 400 m x 400 m grid. To-date 100 pits have been excavated, 17
more are in progress.  The maximum depth of the pits is 10 m. In total, it is
planned to excavate some 365 pits. 

On Target 3, Befitina, pitting will start this week. For this purpose, a second
fly camp is currently built near the village of Befitina. On this prospect,
earlier trenching, pitting and soil geochemistry has revealed the presence of
continuous REE mineralisation in argillaceous laterites which is to-date the
highest grade mineralisation of this kind on the concession area. TRE plans to
dig a total of 450 pits in order to evaluate its economic potential. 

Man Portable Drill Rigs

The first of five window samplers has reached the camp site near Ankatafa.  The
remaining window samplers are expected to arrive in early July 2011. The `man
portable´ window samplers allow shallow drilling to a maximum depth of 20 m,
producing a continuous core of argillaceous laterites, which will be sampled on
1m intervals. These drill rigs will partly replace the pitting operations as
they are faster and less invasive. 

New Staff to speed exploration work

The Group has recently retained the services of an additional eight Malagasy
junior geologists in order to speed up the exploration activities.  Four of whom
are currently working on Target 4, and the four others will work on Target 3. 
All Malagasy geologists will receive on the site training on the window samplers
by the director of the manufacturing company. 

Another six geologists will be hired in July 2011.  Apart from window
sampling/pitting on already identified prospects, these geologists will also
work in the more remote but prospective areas of the concession. In total, the
Group currently employs two senior geologists and 12 junior geologists. 

Commenting on the results, Ivan Murphy, Executive Director of Tantalus Rare
Earths said:

"This drilling update sets out the significant progress we have made with this
potential world class rare earth project.

In addition to the test work being undertaken by China Nonferrous Metals, our
own testing partners continue to make progress on defining and understanding the
separation process for this very large potential resource, with the latest
results from gravitational and magnetic treatments being particularly
encouraging, as this would be extremely advantageous, both economically and
environmentally. 

Our latest drill results continue to show a high proportion of the higher value,
strategic heavy rare earths.  Together with the encouraging extraction results,
we remain confident that this asset has the potential to be one of the most
important rare earth assets in the world.  The eight new Malagasy geologists
joining our existing local team will support our exploration programme going
forward and we are delighted to have them on board."

Detailed information on the drilling results and the target areas are available
at the following link.

Attachments with Announcement:
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http://resources.euroadhoc.com/us/k1wOkBGm

Further inquiry note:
Ivan Murphy, executive director		Tel: +44 (0) 208 566 1579
Ana Ribeiro 				Tel: +44 (0) 207 138 3206
Blythe Weigh Communications 		or   +44 (0) 7980 321 505

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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Attachments with Announcement:
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http://resources.euroadhoc.com/us/k1wOkBGm


company:     Tantalus Rare Earths AG
             Berliner Allee 12
             D-40212 Düsseldorf
phone:       +49 (0)211 52391 430
FAX:         +49 (0)211 52391 200
mail:        contact [at] tre-ag.com
WWW:      http://www.tre-ag.com
sector:      Holding companies
ISIN:        DE000A0SMSL4, DE000A1KRQE7
indexes:     
stockmarkets: free trade/entry standard: Frankfurt 
language:   English
 

 

 



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