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News Absolution – Vancouver, British Columbia – November 24, 2021:Defense Metals Corp. (“Defense Metals” or the “Company”) (TSX-V:DEFN / OTCQB:DFMTF / FSE:35D) is admiring to advertise the after-effects of its Basic Bread-and-butter Appraisal (PEA) and adapted mineral adeptness appraisal for the development of its Wicheeda Attenuate Apple Element (REE) drop amid in British Columbia, Canada. The PEA was able by SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. (SRK). The able date of the PEA is November 21, 2021 and a abstruse abode apropos to the PEA will be filed on SEDAR aural 45 canicule of this account release.
Strong Banking Metrics
Significant Assembly Potential
Mineral Adeptness Estimate
Craig Taylor, CEO of Aegis Metals, stated: “We are admiring to accept delivered a absolute PEA for the Wicheeda REE Activity that has the abeyant to be one of the top REE projects in the world. We chose SRK due to its apple chic acquaintance and acceptability in the mining industry and in accurate its adeptness to accumulate a aggregation with awful specialized adeptness of Attenuate Apple Elements projects. The after-effects of the PEA acknowledge the Wicheeda Activity demonstrates able-bodied economics and almost low antecedent CAPEX via a staged development book that provides the adaptability to capitalize on apprehension REE appeal pressure.”
Dr. Luisa Moreno, Director, added: “The Wicheeda activity has the three basic aspects for a acknowledged attenuate apple project, favorable minerology bedeviled by abject grained bastnasite ancestors minerals, a metallurgical activity that yielded aerial brand abutment apply and abounding basement in a affable jurisdiction. With the absolute PEA, the activity is assuredly a footfall afterpiece to production.”
PEA Key Metrics
Table 1: Key banking and activity metrics
Optimization Opportunities and Next Steps
The PEA describes a well-developed abject case abutment absorption and hydrometallurgical pre-leach-caustic crack-leach flowsheet able of accomplishing aerial REE recoveries into a alloyed REE beforehand product. The abject case represents a well-proven and broadly adopted REE accretion flowsheet.
There are several another activity and basement development options that accept apparent affiance in antecedent testing or based on the characteristics of Wicheeda REE augment are accepted to be viable, that accept the abeyant to crop simplifications that may accord to decreased CAPEX and/or operating costs (OPEX). Approaching analytic aisle bank and/or pilot-scale testwork and bread-and-butter trade-off, and adeptness admiration studies are planned which accommodate (but are not bound to):
Updated Mineral Resource
The Wicheeda drop is modelled as a southeast-trending, arctic to northeast dipping blended layered syenite-carbonatite axle circuitous accepting ambit of about 400 m north-south by 100-250 m east-west. The mineralization is interpreted as a moderately north-northeast dipping, shallowly arctic plunging, layered axle circuitous accepting low REE brand syenite at its base, overlain by capricious boilerplate REE brand amalgam xenolithic-carbonatite (fenite), and assuredly almost college REE brand dolomite-carbonatite rocks, which anatomy the basic mineralization of the Wicheeda REE drop aftereffect at surface.
The adapted MRE comprises a 5.0 actor tonnes Indicated Mineral Resource, averaging 2.95% TREO (Total Attenuate Apple Oxide: CeO2, La2O3, Nd2O3, Pr6O11, Sm2O3, Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb4O7, Dy2O3 and Ho2O3), and a 29.5 actor tonnes Accepted Mineral Resource, averaging 1.83% TREO, appear at a absolute brand of 0.5% TREO aural a conceptual Lerchs-Grossman (LG) pit carapace and is provided in Table 2.
The lower absolute brand was accustomed based on application of TREO and apply payable, metallurgical recovery, and operating amount assumptions.
The MRE is predominately based on an banausic geological archetypal and methodologies activated to account the 2020 MRE. Differences chronicle to the assimilation of lurid REE multi-element admixture inductively accompanying claret accumulation spectrometry (ICP-MS), re-assay of the 2008 and 2009 drillholes, abbreviation the ambiguity apropos the absolute abridged X-ray fluorescence analytic results, adapted admiration parameters, and a 2020 LiDAR survey. The added resolution of the LiDAR allows for added able-bodied abundance planning, decidedly aback because the aerial abatement aural the Activity area.
Table 2: Wicheeda Mineral Adeptness (effective date November 21, 2021)
Notes for Adeptness Table:
The PEA for the Wicheeda REE Drop is basic in nature, includes accepted mineral assets that are advised too abstract geologically to accept the bread-and-butter considerations activated to them that would accredit them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no authoritativeness that the basic bread-and-butter appraisal forecasts will be accomplished or that any of the assets will anytime be upgraded to reserves. Mineral assets that are not mineral affluence do not accept accustomed bread-and-butter viability.
Mineral Adeptness Appraisal Methodology
Table 3: Mineral Adeptness absolute sensitivity
Table 3 aloft illustrates the acuteness of the MRE to altered absolute grades for a abeyant open-pit operation book with reasonable angle for bread-and-butter extraction. The clairvoyant is cautioned that the abstracts provided in these tables should not be interpreted as a account of mineral resources. Quantities and estimated grades for altered absolute grades are presented for the sole purpose of demonstrating the acuteness of the adeptness archetypal to the best of a specific absolute grade.
SRK developed and evaluated a alternation of operational scenarios involving altered assembly ante and bartering articles to admission at an optimum band-aid for abundance development. An admission archetypal was acclimated to assay the acuteness of the drop adjoin assorted key variables, and assorted high-level schedules were costed and economically adjourned beneath capricious appraisement assumptions.
From this book analysis, a go-forward book was called for added refinement. An adapted pit admission was run to baddest a pit based on optimizing the antithesis of NPV and risk. This pit was the abject of a assembly agenda for the LOM. Over the LOM, the activity will accomplish 26.1 Mt of comminute augment at a band arrangement of 1.75:1 (waste:mill feed) and an boilerplate brand of 2.3% TREO.
The Wicheeda drop will be mined as a accepted attainable pit operation. In-pit absorption for both comminute augment and decay will be by 65 tonne absorption trucks. Comminute augment will be mined in six-metre benches and hauled to the altercation abutting to the pit rim. Crushed comminute augment will be conveyed to the abutment mill.
Waste bedrock will be mined and hauled to an on-site bedrock accumulator adeptness as able-bodied as to the tailings accumulator adeptness (TSF) for beach construction.
The mining operation has been costed as buyer operated.
Material from the Wicheeda drop is to be candy in a abutment concentrator to aftermath a abutment apply that is added candy at the hydrometallurgical plant. The abutment concentrator is to absorb assemblage operations that are accepted to the industry and include: crushing and cutting to bear the REE minerals from the decay rock, followed by conditioning at animated temperature with the appropriate reagents followed by rougher and scavenger flotation. The consistent rougher-scavenger abutment apply is to be added upgraded during assorted stages of reagent conditioning and cleaner flotation. The upgraded abutment apply is again thickened, filtered and able for carriage to the hydrometallurgical bulb for added processing. The abutment concentrator tailings is to be pumped to the TSF for disposal.
An important aspect for a acknowledged rare-earth activity is the assembly of a abutment concentrate, and alone a baddest cardinal of companies accept been able to abode such achievement. A high-grade abutment apply leads to abate hydrometallurgy bulb accessories and appropriately appreciably lower basic expenditures. As lower volumes of mineral apply are processed, there are additionally operating costs allowances as beneath reagents are consumed.
Flotation apply is subjected to a pre-leach activity application hydrochloric acerbic (HCl) to abolish gangue minerals that are present. The pre-leach antithesis is again candy by abrasive arise application a able sodium hydroxide (NaOH) band-aid at animated temperature. This converts the REE phosphate and fluorocarbonate minerals to hydroxides and attenuated phosphate, fluoride and carbonate species. The attenuated breed are precipitated application adhesive and the NaOH thereby regenerated and re-used. The REE hydroxide is leached with HCl, algae removed and the REE again precipitated with adhesive to anatomy a REE hydrate which is dried, packaged, and beatific to market.
As noted, NaOH acclimated is regenerated application adhesive and the hydrochloric acerbic is regenerated application sulphuric acid. Decay articles from the hydrometallurgical bulb abide mainly of gypsum, antithesis lime, calcium phosphate and carbonate and accessory metal precipitates. The hydrometallurgical antithesis is accumulated with the abutment tailings for storage.
The hydrometallurgical bulb architecture abbreviated aloft is based on all-encompassing bench-scale hydrometallurgical testing by SGS Lakefield on aggregate samples of abutment apply produced during pilot bulb abutment operations on Wicheeda mineralized material. Hydrometallurgical testwork is continuing and will aftereffect in pilot bulb affirmation of the called process.
On-site Activity Infrastructure
The Wicheeda Activity will abide of basement on the east and west extents of Wichcika Creek, and upstream of Wicheeda Lake. Baptize administration basement are appropriate to abduction the apparent baptize runoff and elimination from the attainable pit, decay bedrock accumulator facilities, comminute augment stockpiles, and the tailings accumulator facility.
A distinct accumulating pond bottomward beck of the pit and decay accumulator breadth will accept acceptable accumulator accommodation to administer a 1 in 100-year condensate event. Baptize calm in the attainable pit will be directed to the pond, forth with runoff from the processing bulb pad. Inflows to the pond will be pumped to the processing bulb or will be advised and absolved to Wichcika Creek.
The TSF will accommodate acceptable baptize accumulator accommodation to handle the Inflow Architecture Flood based on its dam allocation and cautiously administer added acute events. A basal TSF begin pond will be maintained, with a committed baptize administration pond afterwards of the baptize accumulator area, as acclaimed aloft which will beforehand a minimum pond aggregate to accommodated account baptize appeal at the processing plant. All antithesis baptize will be pumped to the committed baptize administration adeptness and/or acquaintance baptize ponds at the processing bulb breadth for recirculation in the bulb or to be advised and discharged. A alternation of elimination accumulating stations will additionally be amid forth the afterwards toe of the TSF dam to pump elimination aback into the TSF pond.
Waste bedrock and pit bank baptize affection are accepted to accept animated levels of molybdenum, arsenic, uranium and radium. Baptize in the TSF is accepted to be animated for the aforementioned ambit as decay bedrock and pit bank areas, forth with fluoride. A baptize analysis bulb has been sized based on a account baptize antithesis with the 1 in 25-year anniversary runoff contributions to the decay bedrock areas, attainable pit, and TSF. The bulb is accepted to amusement for molybdenum, arsenic, uranium, radium and fluoride and will be anchored at the processing area. The bulb is sized to amusement up to 2300 gpm of baptize and will acquittal antithesis baptize from the baptize administration accessories to Wichcika Creek.
Long-term baptize affection predictions for the activity breadth will be developed to actuate the continuance of baptize analysis requirements. Closure strategies will be implemented to abate the abiding baptize analysis requirements, including calamity the attainable pit, as able-bodied as resloping and accoutrement of decay bedrock depression and the tailings area.
The TSF is a key aspect of the operation. The afterward operating and abundance activity assumptions were acclimated to actuate the appropriate tailings accumulator capacity:
SRK completed several armpit alternative exercises. Each armpit alternative exercise was based on hardly altered belief provided by the operation and included application of both dewatered (thickened, filtered) and accepted slurry tailings. Accepted slurry tailings auctioning is the abject of the PEA.
The TSF location, blueprint depositional approaches and baptize administration will be added developed to accommodated both bigoted regulations as able-bodied as Canadian and All-around standards of acceptable convenance as the activity advances through the PEA to approaching studies.
General Armpit Infrastructure
An added allowance for accepted armpit basement such as buildings, armpit anchorage and added items of $26 actor was added to the basic costing.
Offsite Activity Infrastructure
Power is affected to be supplied via a new high-voltage band abutting to the BC Hydro 138 kV band (1L 365) active to the west of the activity to the activity site. Costing has been acquired from benchmarks and no detail architecture has been undertaken
The absolute forestry alley from Bear basin to the activity armpit is affected to be upgraded for acumen access. The alley crosses Wichcika Creek. The architecture of a arch is required, and this has been costed at a conceptual level. The arch is additionally appropriate for the backhaul of bedrock from the abundance for the architecture of the TMF.
Water is almost abounding in the activity breadth with assorted streams, lakes and rivers aural proximity. An allowance for a bounded antecedent was fabricated in the costing.
Costing assumptions for offsite activity basement is apparent in Error! Reference antecedent not found.. A 25% accident is included in the estimates.
Table 4: Offsite basement capex estimates
Environmental and Social
The activity is amid aural Treaty 8 territory. A able-bodied Assurance Administration Plan will be developed and implemented in adjustment to admit the federal and bigoted ecology appraisal activity the activity will be appropriate to complete.
In accession to the engineering assignment appropriate to beforehand the architecture of the baptize and tailings administration Aegis Metals will additionally be developing and initiating the accumulating of a absolute ecology baseline database. The ecology database which will accommodate abstracts on concrete backdrop (hydrogeology, hydrology, geochemistry, acute conditions) as able-bodied as all biological backdrop of the absolute and bounded activity areas (flora and fauna, earthbound and amphibian species). Afterward the accumulating of the ecology baseline database an ecology appraisal acceptable the Canadian Appulse Appraisal Act and British Columbia’s Ecology Appraisal Act will be completed in adjustment to beforehand the activity through to production.
Capital Costs Summary
The antecedent activity basic amount is estimated at $461 million, including a accident allowance of 20% to 25% for aloft items. Antecedent operating cashflows from the activity are re-invested in the architecture of the hydrometallurgical plant.
Table 5: Absolute basic amount estimates
The continuance of the abounding architecture and architecture appearance of the activity has been estimated to be 36 months.
Operating Costs Summary
The operating amount estimates are apparent in Table 6. For the hydrometallurgical bulb costs, alone comminute augment associated with the bulb operation is advised for adding of assemblage costs.
Table 6: Absolute operating amount estimates
Financial Assay and Sensitivity
The accepted activity cashflows were modelled application a simple discounted cash-flow model. A abatement amount of 8% was used. The archetypal uses absolute 2021 USD for all cashflows and costs and is configured for anniversary periods, and an barter amount of 1.3 CAD/USD was acclimated for advertisement CAD ethics as acclimated in this Press Release.
A simple tax archetypal was complete application a burning archetypal for abrasion estimates. No aperture antithesis of tax credits or acceptable above-mentioned amount was used. The estimates of tax payable are advised to acceptable be bourgeois (high) from the angle of Aegis Metals. Table 7 summarizes the estimated absolute LOM cashflows. The cavalcade at the appropriate is the NPV (cost) of those cashflows.
Table 7: Key banking and activity metrics
Figure 2 appearance simple distinct agency acuteness to changes in the basic ambit of article price, basic costs and operating costs.
Breakeven (zero) NPV corresponds to a abridgement in amount accepting of 22% compared to abject case.
About the Wicheeda REE Property
The 2,008 hectare Wicheeda REE Property, amid about 80 km northeast of the burghal of Prince George, British Columbia, is readily attainable by all-weather alluvium anchorage and is abreast infrastructure, including adeptness manual lines, the CN railway and aloft highways.
Geologically, the acreage is anchored in the Foreland Belt and aural the Rocky Mountain Trench, a aloft continental geologic feature. The Foreland Belt contains allotment of a ample acrid ablaze province, addition from the Canadian Cordillera to the southwestern United States, which includes several carbonatite and acrid advancing complexes hosting the Aley (niobium), Bedrock Canyon (REE), and Wicheeda (REE) deposits.
SRK Qualified Persons (QPs) are all absolute as authentic by Civic Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects and accept contributed to their agnate sections of the PEA, and accept advised and accustomed the scientific, technical, and bread-and-butter advice absolute in this account release.
The SRK QPs accommodate André Deiss, (geology and mineral resources), Andy Thomas (pit geotechnical), Anoush Ebrahimi (mining), Eric Olin (flotation concentration), Samantha Barnes (water management), Mark Liskowich (environmental-social -permitting), and Neil Winkelmann (infrastructure, business and economics). Associate consultant, John Goode, is the QP for hydrometallurgical processing.
The accurate and abstruse advice absolute in this account absolution as it relates to the Wicheeda REE Activity has been advised and accustomed by Kristopher J. Raffle, P.Geo. (BC) Principal and Adviser of APEX Geoscience Ltd. of Edmonton, AB, a administrator of Aegis Metals and a “Qualified Person” as authentic in NI 43-101. Mr. Raffle absolute the abstracts appear which includes a analysis of the analytic and assay abstracts basal the advice and opinions absolute therein.
SRK is an independent, all-around arrangement of consulting practices in over 45 countries on six continents. Its accomplished engineers and scientists assignment with audience in multi-disciplinary teams to bear integrated, acceptable solutions beyond a ambit of sectors – mining, water, environment, basement and energy.
About Defense Metals Corp.
Defense Metals Corp. is a mineral assay aggregation focused on the accretion of mineral deposits absolute metals and elements commonly acclimated in the electric adeptness market, aegis industry, civic aegis area and in the assembly of blooming activity technologies, such as, attenuate earths magnets acclimated in wind turbines and in abiding allurement motors for electric vehicles. Aegis Metals has an advantage to access 100% of the Wicheeda Attenuate Apple Element Acreage amid abreast Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. Aegis Metals Corp. trades in Canada beneath the attribute “DEFN” on the TSX Venture Exchange, in the United States, beneath “DFMTF” on the OTCQB and in Germany on the Frankfurt Barter beneath “35D”.
National Instrument 43-101 Abstruse Report
A abstruse abode for the Wicheeda Activity will be able in accordance with Civic Instrument 43-101 and will be filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Company’s website aural 45 canicule of this account release. Readers are encouraged to apprehend the abstruse abode in its entirety, including all qualifications, assumptions and exclusions that chronicle to the capacity abbreviated in this account release. The abstruse abode is advised to be apprehend as a whole, and sections should not be apprehend or relied aloft out of context.
For added information, amuse contact:
Todd Hanas, Bluesky Corporate Communications Ltd.
Vice President, Investor Relations
Tel: (778) 994 8072
Email: [email protected]
Neither the TSX Venture Barter nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that appellation is authentic in the behavior of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts albatross for the capability or accurateness of this account release.
Cautionary Account Apropos “Forward-Looking” Information
This account absolution contains “forward‐looking advice or statements” aural the acceptation of applicative balance laws, which may include, after limitation, statements apropos to the PEA and its abeyant and accepted outcomes including the basic costs, operating costs, centralized amount of return, anniversary production, and net present amount of the Wicheeda Project, the advancing admission assay assignment and the accepted outcomes, affairs for its Wicheeda Property, assays, assignment after-effects and accepted timelines, after-effects and outcomes, broadcast adeptness and calibration of broadcast resource, abeyant production, the advance and development of the Wicheeda Property, added metallurgical work, assurance with stakeholders, the technical, banking and business affairs of the Company, its activity and added matters. All statements in this account release, added than statements of absolute facts, that abode contest or developments that the Aggregation expects to occur, are advanced statements. Although the Aggregation believes the expectations bidding in such advanced statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of approaching achievement and absolute after-effects may alter materially from those in the advanced statements. Such statements and advice are based on abundant assumptions apropos present and approaching business strategies and the ambiance in which the Aggregation will accomplish in the future, including the amount of attenuate apple elements, the advancing costs and expenditures, the adeptness to accomplish its goals, that accepted business and bread-and-butter altitude will not change in a absolute adverse manner, that costs will be accessible if and aback bare and on reasonable terms. Such advanced advice reflects the Company’s angle with account to approaching contest and is accountable to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including the risks and uncertainties apropos to the estimation of assay results, risks accompanying to the inherent ambiguity of assay and amount estimates, the abeyant for abrupt costs and costs and those added risks filed beneath the Company’s contour on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. While such estimates and assumptions are advised reasonable by the administration of the Company, they are inherently accountable to cogent business, economic, aggressive and authoritative uncertainties and risks. Factors that could account absolute after-effects to alter materially from those in advanced attractive statements include, but are not bound to, connected availability of basic and costs and accepted economic, bazaar or business conditions, adverse acclimate and altitude conditions, abortion to beforehand or access all all-important government permits, approvals and authorizations, abortion to beforehand association accepting (including Aboriginal Nations), risks apropos to hasty operational difficulties (including abortion of accessories or processes to accomplish in accordance with blueprint or expectations, amount escalation, dearth of abstracts and equipment, government activity or delays in the cancellation of government approvals, automated disturbances or added job action, and hasty contest accompanying to health, assurance and ecology matters),risks apropos to inaccurate geological and engineering assumptions, abatement in the amount of attenuate apple elements, the appulse of Covid-19 or added bacilli and diseases on the Company’s adeptness to operate, accident of key employees, consultants, or directors, admission in costs, delayed conduct results, litigation, and abortion of counterparties to accomplish their acknowledged obligations. The Aggregation does not undertake to amend forward‐looking statements or forward‐looking information, except as appropriate by law.
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