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Black Fire Minerals rare earths project at Longonjo has potential for significant REE

Black Fire Minerals' (ASX: BFE) soil geochemical program results have significantly extended the size of the previously reported rare earth elements (NYSEMKT:REE) anomaly at the Longonjo (REE) Prospect in Angola, south-central Africa.

Results have defined a very large 3.5 kilometre long and up to 1.7 kilometres wide +0.5% 2REO (cerium + anthanum oxide) anomaly which remains open to the west.

Peak REE soil assays for the completed grid include 3.74% cerium oxide (CeO2), 1.98% lanthanum oxide (La2O3), 0.88% neodymium oxide (Nd2O3), 0.27% praseodymium oxide (Pr6O11) and 0.12% samarium oxide (Sm2O3).

In addition, significant niobium assays peaking at 0.76% (Nb2O3), and phosphate assays peaking at 7.45% (P2O5) were received.

The company would be encouraged by the size and robustness of the REE soil anomaly and the results continue to confirm Black Fire's strong belief that the Longonjo Carbonatite has the potential to grow into a significant and highly competitive REE Project.

Anthony Baillieu, Black Fire’s acting chairman, said “drill testing is planned to commence in late July/early August and we aim to aggressively advance this REE prospect as well as exploring the copper and gold potential of the licence”.

Last month a recent reconnaissance program (88 samples) of trenching, pitting & rock chip geochemical sampling of a small part of this very large soil anomaly returned highly encouraging results of up to 18.91% total rare earth oxide (TREO).

The company is planning an initial 5,000 metre aircore drilling program to broadly test the soil anomaly is currently planned to commence in late July/early August. This program will be followed-up with reverse circulation (RC) drilling as warranted.

Importantly, the project area is well located to infrastructure including the regional city of Huambo and road networks as well as the recently recommissioned railway to the port city of Benguela which passes less than 3 kilometres from the Longonjo REE Prospect.

Interestingly, Angola is the largest oil producer in Africa with two million barrels of oil per day and is China’s biggest oil supplier and the fourth biggest supplier of oil to the USA.

The country is currently going through a massive rebuilding phase with significant foreign investment, including Chinese investment in railways.

The project area covers 3,600 square kilometres and in addition to the Longonjo REE Prospect, is prospective for copper and gold with known prospects historically returning rock chip assay results of up to 9% copper and 6g/t gold (Cassenha Hill Prospect).

Geological evaluation of the Cassenha Hill gold/copper/uranium prospect and other regional targets including the Bongo gold target will also commence with the drill programs being prioritised and progressed as warranted in line with results generated.

In February 2011 Black Fire negotiated an option to acquire 100% of Sable Minerals Pty Ltd and thereby their 70% interest in the Longonjo Project.

Today's REE results have significant similarities to Peak Resources' (ASX: PKR) Ngualla Rare Earth Project in Tanzania which is roughly 12 months in advance of Black Fire.
Black Fire's Longonjo project appears to offer investors similar potential to Peak Resources, but at a cheaper entry point.