Western Australia-based Minbos said Orezone would start drilling in early August at Ankazohambo prospect, one of seven rare-earth targets at the project covered by two exploration permits.
Initial 10 holes to be drilled
Ten holes will be drilled to start with, testing the depth extent and the immediate sub-surface material for grade and mineralogy.
The objective is to test the hypothesis that Ankazohambo has adequate strike and depth extent of mineralisation at a grade better than 3% total rare earth oxides to set a viable target for follow-up drilling.
Minbos said the next step would be metallurgical test work to determine if the mineralisation could be beneficiated to a concentrate containing not less than 30% total rare earth oxides.
Rare earths potential
Surface samples grading up to 40.8% total rare earth oxides were found at the Madagascar licence with an average grade of 5.75% over the 2.5-kilometre system.
Minbos believes these grades indicate that the system could host rare earth oxide mineralisation that meets the threshold for project development.
Preliminary mineralogical test showed the rare earths are mostly found in coarse bastnaesite considered favourable for beneficiation.
Option to acquire MRE Mining
The 440 square kilometre Ambato project is the sole asset of Tana Minerals Ltd’s subsidiary MRE Mining (Mauritius) Limited.
Minbos has an option with Tana to acquire 90% of MRE.
This transaction is conditional upon Minbos obtaining regulatory and shareholder approvals, completing due diligence on the project and renewing exploration permits.