A recent Mineral Resource report confirms REE Minerals AS’s belief that it holds Europe’s largest known deposit of light rare earth elements. These elements are indispensable in various technological products, and the EU has recently presented a strategy to increase production in Europe.
The report from the Fen field in Ulefoss, Norway, is prepared by SRK Consulting in collaboration with the Danish mining consultancy firm 21st NORTH.
“This is a fantastic breakthrough. It has long been known that the Fens field contains large quantities of rare earth elements, but this report quantifies the resources in a way we have not seen before. SRK Consulting is represented in 30 countries worldwide and is internationally recognized for its independent analyses of mining projects,” says Thor Bendik Weider, chairman of REE Minerals AS. REE Minerals has been granted an extraction license for rare earth elements by the Norwegian Directorate of Mining.
The company has conducted several drilling programs at the Fen field. REE Minerals is now working to advance the project towards completing a feasibility study with the aim of starting the mine construction within a five-year period.
In the “inferred” Mineral Resources Estimate (MRE) report, SRK Consulting states that within just one-third of REE Minerals’ exploitation license area, there are 95 million tonnes of carbonatite at an average grade of 1.3% total rare earth oxide (TREO) containing 1.22 million tonnes of rare earth oxides. The Mineral Resource statement envisages an underground mining target reported with a cut-off value of 0.75% TREO. The report follows the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Reserves. The database used for the report includes diamond drilling data generated by REE Minerals from drilling programs conducted between 2012 and 2022. The drilling hole database supporting the resource update comprises 38 boreholes with a total of 10,447 meters drilled, completed through four exploration programs at the Fen field.
Furthermore, SRK Consulting states that the resource is still open within the licence area, particularly at depth and to the south. This means the Mineral Resource could be significantly larger if drilling in future extends beyond the current drilled area.
In the report, SRK Consulting describes a homogeneous resource that may be suitable for large scale underground mining methods which can be more cost-effective than underground selective mining methods.