Wigu Hill, Tanzania
The Wigu Hill Rare Earth Element (“REE”) Project is a light rare earth element discovery made by Montero. The REE deposit occurs in a large carbonite complex with bastnaesite being the main REE mineral.
The original prospecting license covered and area of 142km2 and initial grab samples yielded results as high as 27.25% TREO. Montero released an initial NI 43-101 Inferred resource estimate of 3.3Mt at 2.6% LREO5 including 510,000 tonnes @ 4.4% LREO5 on 2 of 10 possible drill targets.
Click the title to download and view the NI-43-101 Report.
Montero revised a portion of its initial NI 43-101 compliant Inferred Mineral Resource estimate of 3.3 million tonnes at 2.6% LREO5 (Light Rare Earth Oxides) for the Tembo and Twiga Zones. The updated resource estimate is based on data from the initial 15 core boreholes (1,560m) used in the initial resource estimate and data from infill drilling of 17 boreholes at 25m intervals (986m) completed in 2012. The data used in the revised resource has outlined a higher grade REE deposit for this zone on the south-eastern ridge of the Wigu Hill carbonatite complex. A total Inferred Mineral Resource of 1.9 million tonnes at a grade of 2.7% LREO5 has been estimated from the preliminary and infill drilling of 32 boreholes (2,546m) for the Twiga Zone to a depth of 50m. A sensitivity analysis at a cut-off grade of 3% LREO5 has shown that the Inferred Mineral Resource contains a higher-grade portion consisting of 470,000 tonnes averaging 5.2% LREO5. The independent estimate was prepared by AMEC Earth & Environmental Services (UK) Limited (AMEC). See full news release.
The carbonatite complex has been know since the 1950’s and sampled many times by various mining and scientific organisations. A summary is listed below:
2011 – Montero listed on the TSX.V and exploration commenced on Wigu Hill
2011 – Montero reports NI43-101 Resource with metallurgical test work underway
2014 – Montero applied for a Retention license after consultation with the Mining Commissioner and completed an in-house feasibility study
2015 – Montero awarded a Retention License in 2015 valid for 5 years over the Wigu Hill Deposit while continuing work on the property and paying annual fees
2017 – Government of Tanzania announced it would review all current licenses in Tanzania
2018 – Government of Tanzania by decree revoked all Retention Licenses including Wigu Hill
2019 – Government of Tanzania published an open Tender for previous Retention License areas including that of Wigu Hill
2020 – Montero delivered a “Notice of Intent” to Submit a Claim of Arbitration to the Attorney General, Government of Tanzania in accordance with the 2013 Agreement for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments in the Bilateral Investment Treaty between Canada and the United Republic of Tanzania
Montero has appointed a legal entity to represent the corporation to act on its behalf against the Government of Tanzania.
An Information Memorandum that outlines the Claim and the basis on which Montero believes it is entitled to compensation has been drawn up and distributed to several litigation funding firms who have expressed interest in providing funding to support litigation activities.
Montero remains focused on trying to bring a swift settlement to the current dispute with the Government of Tanzania and remains open to working together on a collaborative settlement outcome. However, after repeated attempts by Montero and in the absence of any correspondence in relation to this matter from the Government, the Company has advanced preparations to lodge a Claim to Arbitration with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”), part of the World Bank.
The quantum of any Claim for compensation may include, but will not be limited to:
- the value of historic investment made by Montero or its affiliates in Tanzania;
- the value of the project at the time that tenure was expropriated; and
- damages the Company has suﬀered as a result of Tanzania’s acts and
The Company is not able to make any comment in relation to the potential quantum of any claim for compensation at this point.
The “Notice of Intent” was necessary to preserve the Company’s rights to initiate arbitration should a resolution with the Tanzanian Government not be reached.
Further information on the Wigu Hill Project, including historical exploration reporting and releases relating to development studies can be found on our website www.monteromining.com