Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Quantum Rare Earth Inks Joint Venture Deal For Australian Properties

Quantum Rare Earth Developments Corp. (CVE:QRE) reported Thursday that it has finalized the option agreement for its Australian properties, and entered into a joint venture.

The Australian properties consist of the Jungle well project, which rests about 40 kilometres west of the town of Leonora, and Laverton, which is located about 45 km north of Lynas Corp's Mount Weld rare earth mine.

Quantum embarked on a surface exploration program in 2011 on the Jungle well property, and snagged a total of 10 grab samples which revealed highly elevated total rare earth oxides.

The grab samples had values of 0.93 per cent to 12.80 per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO).

Under the terms of an option agreement from last September, the precious metals and rare earth explorer said it granted Florella Holdings the right to earn an 80 per cent stake in the properties.

Florella has doled out a portion of its stake to Victory Mines, which is an Australian company presently wrapping up its initial public offering on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Quantum and one of its subsidiaries, Northeast Minerals, has now struck a joint venture contract and also a sale agreement with Victory and Florella regarding the properties.

As part of the deal, Quantum will retain a 20 per cent stake in the properties, while Florella will hold a 10 per cent interest, and Victory will earn a 70 per cent stake on certain conditions.

Quantum said Victory is required to reimburse the company for costs incurred during exploration work carried out in the summer of 2011, estimated at around A$100,000.

Victory will also shell-out 3.75 million common shares to Quantum. Quantum expects the issued shares, which are subject to escrow provisions, will be released in about 12 months time after Victory's public offering.

Quantum is an exploration company with a focus on seeking out potentially economic deposits of niobium and rare earth elements in North America and elsewhere in the world.

Earlier this year, the company updated its resource for its Elk Creek niobium rare earth element project in southeastern Nebraska.

The company unveiled a significant boost in resources at Elk Creek, adding a higher grade indicated resource of 19.3 million tonnes grading 0.67 per cent niobium, at a 0.4 per cent niobium cut-off grade, for 129,182 contained niobium oxide tonnes.

Meanwhile, inferred resources increased from 80.1 million tonnes grading 0.62 per cent niobium to 83.3 million tonnes grading 0.63 per cent niobium for 523,844 tonnes of contained niobium oxide.

The resource update was the result of an additional three holes completed by the company at the Elk Creek niobium deposit in 2011.

The deposit remains open to the east, west and at depth, and is hosted by the Elk Creek Carbonatite, which is an intrusive complex of carbonatite and related rocks.

The property was held under an option agreement during the 1970s and 1980s by Molycorp Inc., at which time considerable exploration took place.