Kipawa - Geology

The Kipawa deposit is hosted by a syenite body that is part of the Kipawa Alkalic Complex, a concordant folded sheet of mildly peralkaline syenite and granite. The deposit itself has been drilled over an extent of about 1450 m x 200 m x 100 m true depth and contains two types of mineralized zones. The “TREO enriched” zones consist of 3 mineralized layers that, in addition to ZrO2, contain significant concentrations of rare earth elements (REE) and yttrium. Between these three layers, the syenite contains “ZrO2” zones, enriched in zirconium with by-product quantities of REE.

The Kipawa deposit is a rare earths and yttrium resource with zirconium as a by-product.

In June 2010, the independent engineering firm SGS Canada Inc. – geological department of Geostat calculated that drilling to date has defined an indicated resource of 3.35 million tonnes at a grade of 0.58% total rare earth oxides with 0.89% zirconium and an inferred resource of 6.48 million tonnes at a grade of 0.60% total rare earth oxides with 0.99% zirconium with a cut-off grade superior to 0.10% yttrium. The ratio of heavy rare earths + yttrium/total rare earths is 33% in the indicated resources and 34% in the inferred resources, with heavy rare earths defined as terbium to lutetium.  The full report is available on SEDAR or in the additional documents section of this website.

In July of 2011, it was established that in the RE Oxide Zones:

  • At a cut-off grade of 0.3% TREO, mineral resources in the Indicated category show an increase from 8.3 Mt to 12.5 Mt with little change in grade.  This represents an increase of 51% in Rare Earth Oxide content.
  • More than 94% of the mineral resources grade higher than 0.2% TREO in each category.

Matamec’s metallurgical tests suggest that a 0.2% TREO cut-off could be a realistic mining scenario for this deposit. At this cut-off the current resource stands at 17,645,000 tonnes in the indicated category and 6,805,000 tonnes in the inferred category.  The resources contain 76,800 tonnes total rare earths and yttrium (TREO) in the indicated category and 25,200 tonnes TREO in the inferred category. The heavy rare earths (HREO+Y) average 36% of the TREO content. The contained dysprosium increases from 1,800 tonnes to 2,800 tonnes in the indicated category.

The figures below show the 2011 and the 2010 versions of two block models of the deposit. A large portion of the Eastern and Western portion of the deposit are now classified in the indicated category.

2011 Block Model Rare Earths Zone Classification

2010 Block Model Rare Earths Zone Classification