Vancouver, British Colombia and Salt Lake City, Utah–(Newsfile Corp. – February 14, 2023) – US Critical Metals Corp. (TSXV: USCM) (OTCQB: USCMF) (FSE: 0IU0) (“USCM“) and US Critical Materials Corp. (“Materials Corp.“) (collectively, the “Partners“) are pleased to report the results for the surface sampling completed at the Sheep Creek Rare Earth Project in southwestern Montana (“Sheep Creek” or the “Project“). The Partners received analytical results for 41 chip/channel and grab rock chip samples collected during the Fall of 2022. The sampling covered areas proximal to the underground workings developed in the late 1950’s for niobium mineralization by the Continental Columbium Company along with new carbonatite exposures north, south and west of the historic workings. The historic workings and property have not been previously evaluated for rare earth mineralization. Samples were analyzed by Activation Laboratories (Actlabs), located in Ancaster, Canada.
Highlights from the Surface Sampling Program
- Continued confirmation that Sheep Creek is one of the highest-grade rare earth projects in the US and further refinement of drill targets in the highest priority zones of surface and sub-surface mineralization.
- A total of 37 carbonatite samples revealed rare earth mineralization with grades up to 171,317ppm (17.13%) Total Rare Earth Elements (“TREE“; Sample # 21045), including 22,910ppm (2.29%) combined neodymium and praseodymium (“NdPr”) which are the most sought after of the LREE group.
- To date, the Partners have collected 78 surface samples from widespread carbonatite exposures in the northern part of the project area. These results reveal an average of 41,512 (4.1%) TREE, including an average combined 5,882.9ppm (0.58%) neodymium and praseodymium.
- The carbonatites at Sheep Creek are strongly enriched in light rare earth elements (“LREE“) with an average value of 4.14% compared to 132.9ppm for heavy rare earth elements (“HREE“).
- Preliminary evaluation of the project area has occurred over one-third of the total area staked by the Partners. Significant additional acreage remains to be explored and it is anticipated that additional carbonatites will be identified.
Table 1 summarizes samples collected from both the 2021 and 2022 surface rock sampling programs. The Partners will input the results into detailed geologic maps and will be forthcoming with additional results including underground, stream sediment and soil samples. Integration of the 2022 geologic mapping and geochemical studies will assist the Partners in the design of an airborne geophysics survey in 2023 and improve the understanding of the rare earth-bearing structures.
Table 1. Statistical summary of surface rock samples collected during the 2021 and 2022 surface campaigns, Sheep Creek Project, Ravalli County, Montana. Data is organized as LREE (upper table) and HREE (lower table).
|Samples (N=78)||La (ppm)||Ce (ppm)||Pr (ppm)||Nd (ppm)||Sm (ppm)||Eu (ppm)||Gd (ppm)||Total LREE|
|% of LREE||37.26||47.49||4.02||10.20||0.69||0.12||0.22||100.00|
|Samples (N=78)||Tb (ppm)||Dy (ppm)||Ho (ppm)||Er (ppm)||Tm (ppm)||Yb (ppm)||Lu (ppm)||Y (ppm)||Total HREE|
|% of HREE||5.84||19.98||2.65||5.26||0.61||3.48||0.52||61.86||100.20|
Figure 1. Pie diagram showing the relative distribution of LREE from the Sheep Creek Project.
The results of these collective exploration programs, shown in Table 1, will be utilized to create an initial drill plan that will be submitted to the US Forest Service in the form of a Plan of Operations. The Project was previously permitted for drilling in 2012 and the Partners are confident that the Project will again receive the required authorizations to drill the targets identified. During the course of the permitting process, the Partners will look to further explore the additional acreage staked in 2022.
Figure 2. Location and Total LREE values for samples collected from surface carbonatites exposures in 2021 and 2022, Sheep Creek Project, Ravalli Co., MT.
Mr. James Hedrick, President of US Critical Materials Corp., comments: “Over the course of my career evaluating rare earth properties within the US, I have never encountered a property with the grades being generated by Sheep Creek. I firmly believe that this project will continue to produce exceptional results and further our objective of opening a new district scale rare earth destination to address the critical rare earth needs of US industry and government.”
Mr. Darren Collins, Chief Executive Officer and Director of USCM, comments: “These sample results continue to validate our investments and confirm that Sheep Creek is one of the highest-grade rare earth projects in the US. We are particularly encouraged that all carbonatite samples detected rare earth mineralization along with the identification of new carbonatites for additional follow up work.”
Quality Control and Quality Assurance
In June, 2022, Robert J. Johansing, BSc (geology), MSc (economic geology), who is an independent qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (the “QP”), visited the carbonatites at Sheep Creek to confirm the geologic environment and the presence of the noted mineralization. At that time, the QP recommended detailed mapping and sampling over the carbonatites and in the historical mine workings along with reconnaissance-type activities. The QP is not aware of any mineral resource estimates on Sheep Creek. The scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by the QP. This included a review of the lab results and certificates.
The samples were analyzed by Activation Laboratories, located in Ancaster, Canada (“Actlabs”). Actlabs is an independent ISO/IEC 17025 certified laboratory. Internal standards and blanks were inserted for all REEs and major elemental oxides. Additional standards were inserted by the Partners and are in good agreement with the standard’s certified values. All samples were ground to 95% -200 mesh to ensure complete fusion with lithium metaborate/tetraborate and analyzed by ICP-OES and ICP-MS. The Zr-Nb-Ta-Hf are semi-quantitative owing to P2O5 values in excess of 0.3%.
Additional information relating to Actlabs’ analytical and testing procedures can be found at www.actlabs.com. Actlabs’ Quality System monitors all steps and phases of the operations. Quality Assurance program covers all areas of sample transportation, collection, preparation, analysis and data reporting.
Sheep Creek is located in Ravalli County, southwest Montana. Sheep Creek spans 223 lode claims representing approximately 4,500 acres of total land package. The claims are on multiple-use ground administered by the US Forest Service. Exploration activities performed by US Critical Materials Corp. and conducted in late 2021 have identified more than 50 carbonatite dikes in the Sheep Creek exploration area. The carbonatites are up to three meters wide and can be followed for more than 300 meters along strike. Important ore minerals identified include ancylite, allanite, low-thorium monazite, and columbite. The dikes are valuable for their contained light rare earth elements and other strategic metals. Historical grab and rock chip sampling of carbonatites indicate the potential for high-grade mineralization with up to 18.0% total rare earth elements, including 2.4% (23,810ppm) combined neodymium and praseodymium, plus credits in niobium and other strategic metals.
About US Critical Metals Corp.
USCM is focused on mining projects that will further secure the U.S. supply of critical metals and rare earth elements, which are essential to fueling the new age economy. Pursuant to option agreements with private Canadian and American companies, USCM’s assets consist of four agreements, each providing USCM with the right to acquire interests in five discovery-focused projects in the US. These projects include the Clayton Ridge lithium project located in Nevada, the Sheep Creek rare earth project located in Montana, the Haynes cobalt project located in Idaho, the Lemhi Pass rare earth project located in Idaho and the Long Canyon uranium project located in Idaho. A significant percentage of the world’s critical metal and rare earth supply comes from nations with interests that are contrary to those of the US. USCM intends to explore and develop mineral resources with near- and long-term strategic value to the advancement of US interests.
About US Critical Materials Corp.
US Critical Materials Corp. is a private rare earths exploration and development company with holdings in Montana and Idaho. Future development of the Properties includes additional exploration, geologic mapping, sampling and analysis, and drilling with the objective of completing a future resource and reserve estimation. The deposits in Sheep Creek are unique due to low levels of thorium, as discussed above, which potentially allows mining with minimal damage to the environment. U.S. Critical Materials goal is to develop its properties with strategic partners who have the capital and expertise to explore, mine and extract the critical minerals. US Critical Materials Corp. is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
For further information please contact:
Chief Executive Officer and Director
US Critical Metals Corp.
Telephone: 1-786 633-1756
US Critical Materials Corp.
Telephone: 1-801 322 3401
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains certain information that may be deemed “forward-looking information” with respect to the Company within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements, or developments in the industry to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Forward-looking information includes statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “projects,” “potential” and similar expressions, or that events or conditions “will,” “would,” “may,” “could” or “should” occur. Forward looking information contained in this press release may include, without limitation, exploration plans and expected exploration results at the Project, results of operations, and the expected financial performance of the Company.
Although the Company believes the forward-looking information contained in this news release is reasonable based on information available on the date hereof, by its nature, forward-looking information involves assumptions and known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements, or other future events, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information.
Examples of such assumptions, risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, assumptions, risks and uncertainties associated with general economic conditions; the Covid-19 pandemic; adverse industry events; the receipt of required regulatory approvals and the timing of such approvals; that the Company maintains good relationships with the communities in which it operates or proposes to operate, future legislative and regulatory developments in the mining sector; the Company’s ability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources, and/or inability to access sufficient capital on favorable terms; mining industry and markets in Canada and generally; the ability of the Company to implement its business strategies; competition; the risk that any of the assumptions prove not to be valid or reliable, which could result in delays, or cessation in planned work, risks associated with the interpretation of data, the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits, the possibility that results will not be consistent with the Company’s expectations, as well as other assumptions risks and uncertainties applicable to mineral exploration and development activities and to the Company, including as set forth in the Company’s public disclosure documents filed on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com.
The forward-looking information contained in this press release represents the expectations of USCM as of the date of this press release and, accordingly, is subject to change after such date. Readers should not place undue importance on forward-looking information and should not rely upon this information as of any other date. While USCM may elect to, it does not undertake to update this information at any particular time except as required in accordance with applicable laws.