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Metallica Minerals hits more scandium mineralised zones at Lucknow

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Metallica Minerals (ASX: MLM) has reported new follow-up drilling completed this month has confirmed continuous scandium mineralised zones including high grade intersections, in two target areas of its Lucknow nickel-cobalt and scandium project.

The project is located near Greenvale within the southern area of the company’s flagship NORNICO project northwest of Townsville in Queensland.

The drilling also increased the size of the known nickel-cobalt mineralisation in the area including additional high grade Ni-Co intercepts.

As a result, the assay data from the two drill programs at Lucknow is now being collated to provide a maiden nickel-cobalt resource and a separate scandium resource for Lucknow.

Additional high grade scandium (Sc) zones were intersected between Grants Gully and Red Fort scandium deposits. Broad shallow high grade Sc zones were also confirmed.

Additional high-grade Ni-Co mineralisation was identified at Lady Agnes and Grants Gully areas.

The results are from Phase 2 follow-up drilling of 142 new holes drilled for 3,516m. A resource study has commenced, with a maiden Lucknow Ni-Co & Sc resource estimate expected soon along with drilling results from nearby Greenvale.

The resource estimates are expected by early August and Metallica will include the estimates in its Stage 1 scoping study for the broader NORNICO project which is assessing sourcing high grade Ni-Co and Sc zones for initial mill feed for a 180,000 tonnes per annum processing plant.

Andrew Gillies, managing director, said “further confirmation of more high grade Ni-Co and Ni-Co-Sc zones as well as broad and thick Sc zones, suggests these results will lead to very high metal values in the Lucknow ore, given that Metallica’s intention is to recover all three metals at the same time."

“Significantly, the drilling at Lucknow has defined a second large and discrete, high grade scandium orebody similar to our Kokomo scandium resource so there is increasing confidence that Lucknow, and the pending results from the Greenvale drilling area just to the west of Lucknow, will be major contributors to achieving our initial high grade production target from NORNICO Stage 1 processing."

“We expect the pending resource estimates for the respective Lucknow Ni-Co-Sc and Greenvale Ni-Co deposits and their incorporation into the current NORNICO stage 1 scoping study, will add to that belief,” he added.

The Lucknow Ni-Co-Sc deposit is covered by 2 EPM’s (EPM 10680 and EPM 10866) held by Greenvale Operations Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Metallica. Metallica holds 100% of the Ni-Co and other mineral rights and 80% of the Sc ore rights, with scandium joint venture partner, Straits Resources Ltd, holding the remaining 20% of the scandium ore rights.

In April 2010, Metallica completed an initial drilling campaign at Lucknow (Phase 1) to define and better delineate high grade zones of Ni-Co mineralisation intersected by previous explorers.

Metallica said the resource base for Lucknow and Greenvale deposits will be incorporated into the current NORNICO Stage 1 scoping study.

To maximise metal revenues combined high grade Ni-Co and Sc zones will be the focus for resource-reserve evaluation for providing selected Ni-Co and Sc ore feed volumes for the proposed NORNICO Stage 1 Ni-Co and Sc ore processing plant (size ~180,000 tpa).

The scoping study is currently being finalised and a summary of the study outcomes is expected in the next couple of weeks. Drilling results for Greenvale are also being finalised and are expected to be released shortly.

Quick facts: Metallica Minerals Limited

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