Quantum Rare Earth Developments Corp (CVE:QRE) announced Tuesday it received encouraging assay results for two additional holes from the spring/summer 2011 exploration program at its Elk Creek property in southeastern Nebraska.
These results are from the second hole (NEC11-002) and third hole (NEC11-003) of the five-hole program, drilled in the northwestern portion of the Elk Creek niobium deposit at depth and in the southeastern region of the mineralization, respectively.
Assays from the latest two holes returned 179.18 metres grading 0.87% niobium pentoxide and 0.43% total rare earth oxides (TREO), including 131.03 metres of 1.02% niobium pentoxide and 0.48% TREO, and 1.23% niobium pentoxide and 0.38% TREO over 34.16 metres, in hole NEC11-002.
Meanwhile, hole NEC11-003 returned 130.37 metres grading 0.58% niobium pentoxide and 0.48% TREO, including 0.94% niobium pentoxide and 0.42% TREO over 34.16 metres.
These results provide information on areas of the deposit at depth, where limited data was previously available, and confirm the strong grade and size potential of the niobium structure as indicated by previous Molycorp drilling, Quantum said.
The assays from hole NEC11-001, which returned 235.22 metres grading 0.73% niobium pentoxide and 0.43% TREO, were released at the end of July.
The in-fill and step-out drill campaign was designed to upgrade the resource estimate to the indicated category, to expand the known niobium resource, and to collect samples for development studies of niobium ore from the property.
The current inferred resource estimate includes over 80.1 million tonnes grading 0.62% niobium pentoxide, for a total of 493.2 million kilograms of niobium pentoxide, which is most often used in alloys.
Rare earth oxides (REO) are usually used in batteries, magnets, and super alloys for the aerospace industry. Over 95% of the world's rare earths currently come out of China.
Based in Vancouver, B.C., Quantum's stock on the TSX Venture Exchange rose 1.59% to trade at $0.32 per share as of 11:49 am EDT on Tuesday.