Iamgold has announced an inferred resource of 466.8 million mt at a grade of 1.65% total rare earth oxides as a result of exploration drilling during 2011 on the rare earth elements (REE) zone adjacent to its Niobec niobium mine near Saguenay, Quebec. The evaluation is based on a total of 13,798 m of diamond drilling in 29 holes, including an underground drill hole from the Niobec mine.
The 2011 drill program on the REE zone aimed to establish the three-dimensional “footprint” of mineralization, provide a preliminary grade estimate, and provide samples for preliminary metallurgical test work. The campaign was completed on a grid spacing of 100 by 200 m to drill depths of about 450 m. Deeper holes demonstrated that the brecciated and mineralized facies of the REE zone persist uninterrupted at depth, although the resource model is reported only to a depth of 375 m. Further exploration and infill drilling is expected to extend the resource model well below the current depth parameters and to the south and southwest.
Iamgold initiated a 2,750-m follow-up drill campaign in January 2012 to further define the lateral extent of the resource and establish the overall limits of the REE mineralization with greater certainty. A second phase of drilling is also planned for resource definition and to explore at depth. Preliminary metallurgical test work on a rare earths oxides bulk concentrate showed recoveries of between 58% and 70%. Optimization test work continues, and preliminary leach tests as well as extraction leach tests are ongoing. (www.iamgold.com)