Grades increasing with exceptional heavy rare earth enrichment at Lofdal for Namibia Rare Earths

HALIFAX, Sept. 15, 2011 /CNW/ - Namibia Rare Earths Inc. ("Namibia Rare Earths" or the "Company") (TSX: NRE) is pleased to report on additional drill results from the Lofdal Rare Earth Project in Namibia, which have extended the zone of exceptional heavy rare earth ("HREE") enrichment1 in Area 4 accompanied by significant increases in grade. Drilling in Area 4 has intersected mineralization over a strike length of 500 meters highlighted by an intersection of 1.28% total rare earth oxides ("TREO") over 16.0 meters with 82.6% HREE enrichment, including 6.18% TREO over 2.0 meters with 98.4% HREE enrichment. The zone is open along strike and at depth, and drilling continues. Additional exploration results are reported from Area 5 and from the first holes drilled at the Emanya light rare earth target. Results from the first 24 holes were reported on August 3, 2011 and results from an additional 24 holes are reported here (Figure 1).

Initial testing of induced polarization ("IP") geophysical anomalies in Area 5 have confirmed a correlation with sulphide and magnetite-rich lithologies that are, in part associated with REE mineralization. Additional IP surveys are on-going, including the first surveys in Area 4. An initial representative suite of polished thin sections from mineralized core samples from Areas 4 and 5 has been shipped to the United States for petrographic studies by Dr. James Clarke of Applied Petrographics to identify and characterize the REE minerals. It is believed that xenotime is the primary HREE-bearing mineral at Lofdal. It is anticipated that this first phase of exploration drilling will be completed by the end of September, 2011.

The Company is also pleased to announce the appointment of Franck Bizouerne as Exploration Manager for Namibia Rare Earths. Mr. Bizouerne has over 14 years of exploration experience in Africa including senior project management positions and is now based in Windhoek.

Summary of Latest Drill Results

Significant rare earth ("REE") mineralization was intersected in all 8 holes reporting from Area 4 (Figure 2) with the best intercepts (expressed as % total rare earth oxides "TREO") as follows:

  • 1.28% TREO over 16.00 meters with 82.6% HREE enrichment (including 6.18% TREO over 2.00 meters with 98.4% HREE enrichment)
  • 0.66% TREO over 11.00 meters with 76.1% HREE enrichment (including 1.69% TREO over 2.00 meters with 91.6% HREE enrichment)
  • 0.57% TREO over 12.52 meters with 79.9% HREE enrichment (including 1.66% TREO over 2.14 meters with 97.3% HREE enrichment)
  • 0.56% TREO over 9.00 meters with 58.4% HREE enrichment (including 1.14% TREO over 3.00 meters with 87.1% HREE enrichment)

Significant REE mineralization was intersected in 9 of the 12 holes reporting from Area 5 (Figure 3) with the best intercepts as follows:

  • 0.29% TREO over 13.18 meters with 74.0% HREE enrichment (including 0.60% TREO over 2.11 meters with 91.9% HREE enrichment)
  • 0.55% TREO over 9.13 meters with 13.76% HREE enrichment
  • 0.52% TREO over 17.00 meters with 22.5% HREE enrichment
  • 0.39% TREO over 16.00 meters with 11.0% HREE enrichment

Significant REE mineralization was intersected in all 4 holes reporting from Area 8 (Emanya plug and extensions; Figure 4) with the best intercepts as follow:

  • 0.48% TREO over 86.00 meters with 9.2% HREE enrichment
  • 0.28% TREO over 42.65 meters with 16.8% HREE enrichment
  • 0.27% TREO over 17.00 meters with 8.7% HREE enrichment
  • 0.17% TREO over 72.30 meters with 13.0% HREE enrichment

Intercept widths are reported as down the hole widths and are not necessarily true widths. Interpreted dips of the mineralized zones vary from 45 to 80 degrees and all holes were drilled at -55 degrees. A summary listing of analytical results is provided in Table 1 and a complete listing of analytical results is provided in Table 2.

Don Burton, President stated, "The objective of this first phase of drilling at Lofdal is to test as many targets as quickly as we can to determine which areas have the potential to host a mineral resource. Area 4 is clearly emerging as the front runner with additional potential for HREE enriched deposits in Area 5. The outstanding intercepts in Area 4 where we see exceptional HREE enrichment in the range of 80-98% with grades in excess of 0.5% TREO are exactly what we are targeting. Drill targets to the west in Area 5 are clearly channeling more LREE enriched hydrothermal fluids with HREE enrichment on the order of 10-25%. At Emanya the anticipated target was a low grade LREE system but with significant volume potential which has been confirmed with all 4 holes ending in mineralization. All of this validates the exploration model that Lofdal is a rare earth mineral district with the potential to host a number of deposits of varying types. Our focus remains on the HREE enriched zones. We expect to report on fourteen more holes in Area 4, twenty-five more holes in Area 5 and two holes in Area 6 before completing this phase of exploration drilling."

Overview of Drilling Program

The Lofdal Carbonatite Complex is an untested district scale opportunity with the potential for the discovery of several rare earth deposits, some of which may have exceptional HREE enrichment. Rare earth mineralization at Lofdal is hosted in carbonatite dykes and plugs, with the dykes typically grading between 0.5 - 3% TREO. Dyke thicknesses and associated alteration are variable from less than one meter to 15 meters at surface and can be traced in some cases, up to three kilometers in strike length. The near term objective for the Company with this initial 7,500 meter drilling program is to identify areas with the potential to host rare earth mineral deposits of economic significance. This program was initiated in late May with two diamond drills and will continue to the end of September 2011. An additional 15,000 meters of drilling is allocated to develop a 43-101 compliant resource within the next 12 months. The Company has the financial capacity to accelerate the program with additional drill rigs.

Significant Developments from Current Drilling

Drilling in Area 4 is providing strong indications for a continuous zone of HREE enrichment over a strike length of 500 meters which has only been tested to an average vertical depth of between 40 to 60 meters. Infill drilling between targets 4B and 4C is currently being undertaken to confirm continuity. The zone remains open along strike to the east and to the west, and at depth. The zone is proving to behave in a predictable manner both in terms of its geometry and its mineralizing characteristics. These most recent intercepts are demonstrating significant increases in grade, and given the potential for very high grade HREE zonation in Area 4, more closely spaced drilling will be carried out to provide sufficient sample density to support a resource estimate. Another positive development is that there has been a significant drop in the thorium content of the zone towards the west, averaging between 200-300 ppm Th.

In Area 5, exceptional HREE enrichment from the priority targets (5A, 5B and 5C) has been previously reported (Company press release August 3, 2011). The bulk of results reported here have tested the lower priority areas (5D, 5E and 5F) which were expected to be less enriched in HREEs but nevertheless, to be of potential economic significance. Drilling has therefore confirmed again that the REE patterns recognized from the regional surface sampling programs do reflect the nature of the underlying mineralizing systems. That is to say that exploration at Lofdal can systematically target either HREE or LREE dominated systems with a high degree of confidence. Priority targeting in Area 5 will remain focused on the HREE enriched targets identified along the 1.6 kilometer long structure associated with targets 5A, 5B and 5C.

Drilling in Area 8 has focused on determining the extent and nature of mineralization associated with the Emanya plug. This is a very different target than the linear structures in Areas 4 and 5. At Emanya the REE mineralization is dominantly low grade LREEs but has potential for much higher tonnage. Holes 8001 and 8002 were inclined "scissor" holes designed to provide a sectional sampling of the main hill that was mapped during the regional surface program. Hole 8003 was a vertical hole to test for extensions of the intrusion to the northeast as interpreted from airborne geophysical surveys and hole 8004 was an inclined hole designed to test an area of surface alteration thought to be associated with an underlying extension of the intrusion to the southwest. All holes ended in carbonatite with low grade LREE mineralization. These four holes indicate that the Emanya plug may have a strike length in excess of 650 meters and is up to 350 meters in width. Significant amounts of iron sulphides (5-25% pyrite and/or pyrrhotite) were encountered in some sections and additional analyses will be performed to determine if other metals might be present in association with the rare earths. Casings were left in the holes for future deepening. These initial results confirm the potential for Emanya to host a large tonnage, at surface open pittable deposit.

Mineralogical Studies

The results from exploration drilling in Area 4 and Area 5 have indicated the potential for the development of mineral resources. A selected suite of representative samples from the HREE enriched zones in these two areas have been shipped to the United States for petrographic studies. Polished thin sections are being prepared for study by Dr. James Clarke of Applied Petrographics in Washington State. Dr. Clarke has extensive experience in the characterization of rare earth deposits and of note, serves as Vice President Exploration with Rare Element Resources who are developing the Bear Lodge carbonatite deposit in Wyoming. Previous studies on surface samples have indicated that the heavy rare earths are predominantly hosted in xenotime and aeschynite and the light rare earths in bastnaesite, parisite, synchysite, monazite, and allanite. As typically occurs in many carbonatite complexes, thorium is present in the REE zones at Lofdal and must be characterized for purposes of extraction options. REE zones in Area 4 range from 125-1,500 ppm thorium and in Area 5 range from 600-7,000 ppm thorium.

Significance of HREE Enrichment

Heavy rare earths generally have significantly higher value than light rare earths. Prices for all rare earths have made substantial gains over the past 18 months with average price increases for the higher demand oxides on the order of 1,000-3,000% over this period (Table 3). The U.S. Department of Energy has identified five rare earth elements, 4 of which are heavies, as being critical for the development of 'clean-tech' applications but which have a serious supply risk over the next 15 years unless new sources can be found (Figure 5). Those four HREE (europium, terbium, dysprosium, and yttrium) are the principal target elements at Lofdal in the HREE enriched fluids.

Most REE explorers and developers report the degree of HREE enrichment in their projects and industry norms would consider any project having greater than 10% HREE enrichment to be "enriched in heavies". Using this criteria and reference to Table 4 there are seven advanced REE projects that would be considered to be enriched in heavies with the strongest enrichment at the Norra Kaar deposit in Sweden (Tasman Metals Ltd.) with an average grade of 0.54% TREO and 52.7% HREE enrichment.

REE projects cannot be assessed in terms of either percentage TREO or percentage HREE enrichment in isolation without a complete breakdown of the individual elemental concentrations which can be provided by either disclosure of individual elemental analyses or a breakdown of the grade distribution of the rare earth elements. There can also be other metals of economic significance - Norra Kaar for example has reported significant concentrations of zirconium and hafnium. Significant HREE enrichment is therefore one factor that may contribute to the economic viability of a relatively lower grade project. The other two major considerations with respect to determination of potential economic viability are tonnage and recovery. Significant quantities of HREE can therefore be derived from large tonnage REE deposits containing less than 10% HREE enrichment and a deposit may be HREE enriched but if recoveries are too low the economics become challenged.

Conceptual targeted grades at Lofdal are in the range of 0.5-3.0% TREO with HREE enrichment of 75-90%. There has been insufficient exploration to date to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the discovery of a mineral resource. The objective of the first exploration drilling phase (7,500 meters) is to identify those areas with grade characteristics that warrant additional drilling as potential resource areas. The second phase of drilling (15,000 meters) will focus on those areas to provide sufficient data to develop a mineral resource estimate together with sufficient mineralogical and preliminary metallurgical work to provide an indication of the potential recoveries.

Program Management

Exploration activities are carried out through the Company's 100%-owned subsidiary Namibia Rare Earths (Pty) Ltd. under the direction of Franck Bizouerne, Exploration Manager for Namibia Rare Earths Inc. based in Windhoek.

Geological management of the Lofdal drilling program is being undertaken by Remote Exploration Services Namibia (Pty) Ltd. (corporate offices South Africa) which has established a complete field camp at Lofdal including full core logging and sampling facilities with a dedicated geological team on each drill. Drilling is being carried out by JGM Drilling and Exploration of Windhoek, Namibia which is operating two diamond drill rigs.

Sample preparation and analytical work for the drilling program is being provided by Activation Laboratories Ltd. (Windhoek, Namibia and Ancaster, Ontario) employing ICP-MS techniques suitable for rare earth element analyses and following strict internal QAQC procedures inserting blanks, standards and duplicates.

Dr. Scott Swinden of Swinden Geoscience Consultants Ltd. is an independent geological advisor to Namibia Rare Earths. Dr. Swinden was the principal author of the 43-101 Technical Report dated April 4, 2011 titled "Amended 43-101 Technical Report on the Rare Earth Element Occurrences in the Lofdal Carbonatite Complex, Kunene Region, Khorixas District, Namibia" (available on SEDAR).  Donald M. Burton, P.Geo. and President of Namibia Rare Earths is the Company's Qualified Person and has reviewed and approved this press release.

About Namibia Rare Earths Inc.

Namibia Rare Earths Inc. is developing a portfolio of mineral exploration projects in Namibia and is currently focused on the accelerated development of the Lofdal Rare Earths Project. The Company completed a CDN$28.75 million initial public offering and Toronto Stock Exchange listing in April, 2011 and is well funded to carry out its development program. The common shares of Namibia Rare Earths Inc. trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "NRE".

Please click here for figures and tables:



1 As per industry norms heavy rare earths ("HREE") and their oxide equivalents ("HREO") comprise europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd), terbium (Tb), dysprosium (Dy), holmium (Ho), erbium (Er), thulium (Tm), ytterbium (Yb), lutetium (Lu) and yttrium (Y). Light rare earths ("LREE") and their oxide equivalents ("LREO") comprise lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce), praseodymium (Pr), neodymium (Nd) and samarium (Sm). Total rare earths ("TREE") and their oxide equivalent ("TREO") comprise HREE+LREE (HREO+LREO). "Heavy rare earth enrichment" is the ratio of HREE:TREE or HREO:TREO expressed as a percentage.


For further information:

Namibia Rare Earths Inc.
Don Burton, President
Tel: +01 (902) 835-8760/ Fax: +01 (902) 835-8761
Web site:

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