Preparations are on schedule with the team having advanced detailed geological mapping of the 6-square kilometre carbonatite that will be the focus of drilling.
Cut lines have been prepared for drilling and a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey while accurate topographical survey points have been installed over the project area.
The preparations also include moving the support camp from Cassenha Hill to Longonjo and this work is progressing well.
A reverse circulation drill rig has been mobilised from Windhoek in Namibia and is on the way to Longonjo.
Rift Valley chief operating officer Dave Hammond said the company was very grateful for the support from its government partners in assisting with cross-border protocols.
“Our fantastic team on the ground has made solid progress with the pre-drilling fieldwork and new camp construction in preparation for the commencement of the drill program later this month,” he said.
Specialist geological consultant Dr Wally Witt is helping define the geological framework for the neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) mineralisation.
Kavita Kachipita, Dr Wally Witt and Manuel Mandembue during geological mapping of Longonjo.
Previous diamond drill core is also being reviewed to assist in the targeting process.
GPR, which is used in lateritic nickel and bauxite exploration, is expected to be a useful tool in mapping the areas of deep weathering in which the high-grade NdPr mineralisation occurs.
The drilling program is aimed at scoping the full extent of the resource and identifying the most favourable styles of NdPr mineralisation at the project.
Rift Valley aims to have the Longonjo project ranked as one of the world’s largest NdPr projects.
Delineating a large resource estimate would allow the company to identify and select the most favourable, highest quality mineralisation for development.
Definition of quality mineralisation at surface in the ‘free dig’ weathered zone combined with the favourable location of the project close to infrastructure will create a valuable asset of global significance to the expanding NdPr market.
Strong demand for NdPr
The focus on Longonjo comes at a time when demand for NdPr is set to soar as a vital component in electric motors.