Black Fire Minerals (ASX: BFE) has had its Longonjo rare earth project licence confirmed under the new Angolan Mining Act, with the company ready to commence its planned 2012 exploration program at the project.
The Longonjo joint venture covers 3,670 square kilometres and includes a soil anomaly that is 3.5 kilometres long and up to 1.7 kilometres wide.
This anomaly contains more than 0.5% rare earths, peaking at more than 5% total rare earth oxides, while assays of up to 0.76% niobium and 7.45% phosphate have also been defined.
Initial exploration will include first pass drilling of the Longonjo prospect as well as stream sediment geochemical screening of selected portions of the licence area for base metals and gold.
Previous exploration at Longonjo has returned up to 18.9% total rare earth oxides from the Longonjo prospect, and up to 9% copper and 6 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from the Cassenha Hill prospect.
Black Fire chairman Anthony Baillieu said the company was grateful for the support of the company's exploration Angola.
"The Board is very pleased to have received the Angolan Minister of Geology, Mines and Industry's formal confirmation of the rare earth licence at Longonjo," Baillieu said.
"Now that the Angolan wet season is over, the Company looks forward to commencing an aggressive exploration program at Longonjo which will comprise initial drill testing of the Longonjo REE Prospect as well undertaking first pass geochemical screening of the broader project area targeting base metals and gold".
The Longonjo project is located in central Angola, about 600 kilometres southeast from the country's capital city of Luanda.
Importantly, the project is well located in regards to infrastructure, including road networks and a recently recommissioned railway linking the area to the Atlantic port of Benguela.
Black Fire entered an Option to Purchase agreement to acquire a 70% interest in the Longonjo project with Sable Minerals in June 2011.
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