Rainbow Rare Earths Limited(LON: RBW) saw its sharesd gain today as it initiated a drill programme at its Gakara project in Burundi.
The aim of the drilling is to improve the geological understanding of the currently productive areas at Gakara and to explore geophysical anomalies identified by airborne surveys in November 2017.
A yet to be geologically proven oval structure potentially 22 metres thick, 80 metres wide and 100 metres long will also be explored, following its identification by a ground gravity survey.
Should these drill results prove positive, a second phase of drilling will take place during the second and third quarters of 2018, with the aim of producing a JORC-compliant resource
Meanwhile, production continues. Following the announcement of the first shipment of concentrate on 5 December 2017, a further two shipments have now taken place. Production ramp-up has been proceeding according to plan, with the target of hitting a run rate of 5,000 tonnes per year by the end of 2018.
Gakara is one of the highest grade rare earth element mining projects globally, with an estimated in situ grade of 47-67% Total Rare Earth Oxide ('TREO'), and the only producing rare earths mine in Africa.
"2017 was a year of delivery for Rainbow which saw us hit all of our targets on budget and on schedule to become a high-grade concentrate producer at the only producing rare earths mine in Africa,” said chief executive Martin Eales.
“2018 is set to be a year of growth with commercial production and sales now underway. With the forecast demand in electric vehicles driving the growth for REEs and a strong cash balance following an oversubscribed institutional fundraising in December, we are in an excellent position to accelerate development at Gakara.”
In late afternoon trading, Rainbow Raqre Earth shares were up 1.7%, or 0.25p at 14.75p.
-- Adds share price --