Projects

Projects

El Quemado

Project Overview

The project area is located in Salta Province, approximately 80km west of the city of Salta and consists of 7,959 hectares in 19 claims. The El Quemado pegmatite is part of the El Quemado pegmatite field, at the northern end of the Pampean pegmatite province. Several known pegmatite occurrences are located within the Property, most of which have seen some historical exploitation.

The project includes the historic El Quemado small-scale mine, a former tantalum-producing operation where Minera Anzotana Co. produced niobium-tantalum concentrates and bismuth concentrates. Historical records indicate that tantalum-niobium oxide concentrate grades ranging from 7.16% to 53.85% (average 39.65%) tantalum and from 3.7% to 69.14% (average 20.98%) niobium in 11 concentrate shipments. Bismuth concentrate from 2 shipments graded 52.85% and 70.07% (average 61.46%). Historical production was achieved mostly through open-cuts with some underground adits, hand selection of mineralized material, and upgrading through rudimentary grinding and jigs. Historical concentrate grades indicate that historically, mineralized material of unknown in-situ grade was successfully upgraded to a saleable concentrate product.

Historical production was focussed on tantalum, niobium and bismuth in the El Quemado area. This is a common situation in these types of pegmatite deposits where historical pricing and demand was more supportive of tantalum mining but where modern demand and economics now support lithium exploitation. The world's largest hard-rock lithium producer, located in the Greenbushes pegmatite belt (southwest Australia) was a former tantalum producing deposit from the 1940's where modern tantalum extraction commenced in the early 1990s before lithium was first produced in the mid-2000s.

Despite historical production, no systematic modern exploration has been undertaken and the occurrences have never been drilled or been the subject of formal resource estimation, although historical estimates do exist in the literature. Most historical information dates from 1943, when the deposits were first exploited through to 1981. Pegmatites are reportedly 4 meters to 40 meters thick in the Santa Elena area, west of El Quemado.

The Company cautions that the grade of concentrates is derived from private mining company records that are historical in nature. Investors are further cautioned that a qualified person has not yet completed sufficient work to be able to verify the historical information, and therefore the information should not be relied upon. In addition, the Company is quoting historical concentrate grades, being the grade of mined material after processing and upgrading. The Company is not disclosing any historical resource or reserve estimate and further exploration will be required to assess the in-situ grade of the mineralized material and to assess the potential for the existence of a mineral resource.

The recent study of the El Quemado pegmatites (Marquez-Zavalia & Galliski 2012, Canadian Mineralogist paper) describes tantalum and bismuth minerals in the El Quemado system, which is a spodumene (lithium) subtype, rare element class granitic pegmatite. The 2012 study revealed systematic zoning; a. border zone; b. wall zone; c. outer intermediate zone; d. inner intermediate zone; e. core zone. Tantalum occurs throughout all zones while lithium (spodumene) is concentrated in the inner intermediate zone (d.). Outcrop is described as sparse in the area, with most of the pegmatites under shallow cover.