Defense Metals Releases Positive PEA for Wicheed REE Project in British Columbia

Defense Metals (TSX-V: DEFN)(OTC: DFMTF) — currently trading around C$0.25 per share — has released a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment for its flagship Wicheeda Rare Earth Element (REE) project in British Columbia, Canada.

Highlights from the PEA include:

  • After-tax NPV of C$512 million at an 8% discount rate; post-tax IRR of 16%

  • Low initial CAPEX of C$461 million 

  • 1.8 Mtpa mill throughput via open pit 

  • 16-year mine life; 5-year capital payback from start of production 

  • Avg. revenues of $397 million per year from sale of REE mineral concentrate (years 1-4) and mixed REE hydrometallurgical precipitate (years 5-16)

Defense Metals CEO, Craig Taylor, commented via press release:

"We are pleased to have delivered a positive PEA for the Wicheeda REE Project that has the potential to be one of the top REE projects in the world. We chose SRK due to its world class experience and reputation in the mining industry and in particular its ability to assemble a team with highly specialized knowledge of Rare Earth Elements projects. The results of the PEA reveal the Wicheeda Project demonstrates robust economics and relatively low initial CAPEX via a staged development scenario that provides the flexibility to capitalize on forecast REE demand pressure.”

Dr. Luisa Moreno, director, added: “The Wicheeda project has the three main aspects for a successful rare earth project, favorable minerology dominated by coarse grained bastnasite family minerals, a metallurgical process that yielded high grade flotation concentrate and great infrastructure in a friendly jurisdiction. With the positive PEA, the project is undoubtedly a step closer to production.”

Wicheeda boasts a current mineral resource estimate of 5 million tonnes Indicated averaging 2.95% TREO (Total Rare Earth Oxide) and 29.5 million tonnes Inferred averaging 1.83% TREO.

Defense also just wrapped up a 29-hole, 5,349 meter drill program at Wicheeda in support of ongoing advanced economic studies. Core from that program is currently at the lab awaiting assaying. Results are expected in Q1 2022.

The release of a positive PEA is an important milestone for any junior mineral exploration company. Our own Gerardo Del Real of Junior Resource Monthly caught up with Defense Metals CEO, Craig Taylor, to go over the PEA results… plus a look ahead to what’s next for Wicheeda. Enjoy! 

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Yours in profits,


Mike Fagan
Editor, Resource Stock Digest