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Kvanefjeld Project – Rare Earth Elements, Uranium, Sodium Fluoride

October 28, 2010

From Geology.com  http://geology.com/news/ – One of the largest rare earth projects currently moving towards production is the Kvanefjeld Project near the southern tip of Greenland. They have drilled over 45,000 meters of diamond core into the Ilimaussaq Intrusive Complex to identify rare earth metals, sodium fluoride,uranium and zinc resources.

Kvanefjeld is an emerging multi-element deposit hosted within marginal phases of the Ilimaussaq Intrusive Complex, located near the southwest tip of Greenland. The deposit is exposed at surface along a series of undulating bluffs on a broad peninsula surrounded by deepwater fjords that run directly out to the Atlantic Ocean. Greenland Minerals and Energy acquired the project in mid-2007 and immediately launched a field program that included airborne radiometric and magnetic surveys, environmental studies, geological investigations and a 10,000m diamond drill program.

The 2007 drill program and geological work formed the basis for a first JORC-compliant resource estimation for the Kvanefjeld deposit that was announced to the Australian Securities Exchange in May, 2008. The resource was subsequently updated in August 2008 as more assay data from the 2007 drill program became available. The results of the 2007 field program were considered extremely encouraging, and in 2008 the company undertook a second large-scale exploration program during which a further 19,300 m of core were drilled. The majority of these meters were drilled into Kvanefjeld, with the aim to improve the JORC resource category from “Inferred” to “Indicated”, as well as increasing the overall resource base. This aim was certainly acheived, and Kvanefjeld is now clearly one of the largest multi-element deposits of its kind globally. During the 2008 field season, a number of new multi-element targets were also drill tested (see “New Multi-Element Targets and Overall Resource Potential”).

The latest resource statement was released to the Australian Securities Exchange in June, 2009 (see below). Zinc has been included in the resource statement after indicative metallurgical test-work suggests that the metal will report with the rare earth elements, where it could be recovered as a separate product.
Resources

Kvanefjeld multi-element resource statement, June, 2009

At U3O8%
Tonnes
U3O8%2
U3O8 lb/t
TREO%3
Zn%
Resource
cutoff grades1
(million)
category
0.015
365
0.028
0.62
1.06
0.22
Indicated
92
0.027
0.59
1.12
0.22
Inferred
457
0.028
0.62
1.07
0.22
TOTAL
0.020
276
0.032
0.70
1.13
0.23
Indicated
63
0.031
0.69
1.21
0.24
Inferred
339
0.032
0.70
1.14
0.23
TOTAL
0.025
207
0.035
0.77
1.20
0.23
Indicated
43
0.036
0.78
1.31
0.25
Inferred
250
0.035
0.77
1.22
0.24
TOTAL


1 – There is greater coverage of assays for uranium than other elements owing to historic spectral assays. U3O8 has therefore been used to define the cutoff grades to maximise the confidence in the resource calculations.
2 – Additional decimal places do not imply an added level of precision.
3 – Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) refers to the rare earth elements in the Lanthanide series plus yttrium.
Note:Figures quoted may not sum due to rounding.

Inferred resources of sodium fluoride (NaF)

At NaF%
Tonnes
NaF%
Resource
cutoff grades
(million)
category
0.10
363
0.85
Inferred
0.50
191
1.36
Inferred
1.00
116
1.77
Inferred

1- Sodium fluoride remains under sampled in comparison to REOs, zinc and uranium, and, therefore the resource category is only inferred. The NaF resource is contained within the same geological model as that used to calculate the TREO, U3O8, and Zn resources.

This new resource statement estimates the inventory of contained metal within a 457 Mt ore body to be:

4.91 Mt of Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO), 0.99 Mt and Zinc, 0.12 Mt of Uranium Oxide (283 Mlbs), and 3.09 Mt of NaF

All resource figures are JORC compliant. Resource estimates were calculated by Hellman and Schofield Pty Ltd (http://www.hellscho.com.au).
Geology

The Kvanefeld REE-U deposit is hosted within the Ilimaussaq Complex, southern Greenland. The Ilimaussaq Complex is a layered alkaline intrusive complex that formed in a continental rift setting approximately 1.16 billion years ago. It has been the subject of many scientific studies and is considered to represent the type-example of a rare group of rocks that are referred to as agpaitic; the term ascribed to an unusual suite of peralkaline nepheline syenites. The intrusion is roughly 17 x 8 km and features distinct magmatic layering. Block faulting has disrupted the continuity of the layering across the intrusion such that different levels are exposed at different locations.

Formation of the intrusion is attributed to four successive pulses of magma. The first produced an augite syenite, which now forms a marginal shell. This was followed by intrusion of a sheet of peralkaline granite. The third and fourth stages make up the bulk of the intrusion and are peralkaline to agpaitic in composition. The third batch of magma differentiated to produce pulaskite, foyaite and naujaite. Stage four produced the agpaitic kakortokites and lujavrites, which are the units of particular economic significance. These rock types formed from volatile-rich alkaline magmas that were extremely enriched in incompatible elements such as rare earth elements, uranium, and high-field-strength elements such as niobium and tantalum. Economic concentrations of rare earth elements and uranium generally occur in the upper most lujavrite sections.

The majority of multi-element mineralisation (REEs, U, Zn and NaF) occurs as disseminations within the lujavrite, with a small component hosted in veins and disseminations in wallrocks adjacent to the lujavrite. Steenstrupine, an unusual phospho-silicate mineral, is the dominant host to both REEs and uranium, with the minerals cerite and vitusite also hosting REEs in portions of the deposit. Sodium fluoride is largely hosted by the mineral villuamite that is disseminated through some lujavrites. Zinc is hosted in the mineral sphalerite that also occurs as disseminations within lujavrite.

Kvanefjeld occurs inside the northwestern margin of the Ilimaussaq Complex where a thick interval of upper lujavrite outcrops along a series bluffs. Locally, other occurrences of upper lujavrite have been identified, and these are being evaluated by geophysical surveys, geological mapping, and diamond drilling, and have the potential to be significant new multi-element deposits. As multi-element ores are largely formed from a specific magmatic unit, they have very good continuity and consistency.

Map of the Ilimaussaq Complex highlighting the location of the Kvanefjeld REE-U deposit, as well as a series of new multi-element exploration targets labeled K2 through to K8.
References

Bailey, J.C., Sorensen, H., Andersen, T., Kogarko, L.N., Rose-Hansen, J., 2006. On the origin of microrhythmic layering in arfvedsonite lujavrite from the Ilimaussaq alkaline complex, South Greenland. Lithos,  v. 91, p 301-318.

Ferguson, J., 1964. Geology of the Ilímaussaq alkaline intrusion, South Greenland. Bulletin Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse v. 39, p. 82. (also Meddelelser om Grønland 172(4)).

Rose-Hansen, J., Sørensen, H., 2002. Geology of lujavrites from the Ilímaussaq alkaline complex, South Greenland with information from seven bore holes. Greenland Geoscience v. 40 p. 58.

Sørensen, H., 1962. On the occurrence of steenstrupine in the Ilímaussaq massif, southwest Greenland. Bulletin Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse v. 32, p. 251. (also Meddelelser om Grønland 167(1)).

Sørensen, H., 1992. Agpaitic nepheline syenites: a potential source of rare elements. Applied Geochemistry, v. 7, p. 417-427.

Sørensen, H., 2001. Brief introduction to the geology of the Ilímaussaq alkaline complex, South Greenland, and its exploration history. Geology of Greenland Survey Bulletin v. 190, p. 7–24.

Sørensen, H., Bohse, H., Bailey, J.C., 2006. The origin and mode of emplacement of lujavrites in the Ilímaussaq alkaline complex, South Greenland. Lithos, v. 91, p. 286-300.

Steenfelt, A., 1991. High-technology metals in alkaline and carbonatitic rocks in Greenland: recognition and exploration. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, v. 40, p. 263-279.

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