Latin American Minerals Inc. (TSX VENTURE:LAT) has announced the acquisition of a 100% interest in the Chiriguelo Project in northeast Paraguay.
The property consists of an exploration concession for which technical approval and environmental permitting have been received from the Paraguayan government.
The Chiriguelo Carbonatite Complex represents a prime exploration target for Niobium and Rare Earth Elements (REEs) in northeastern Paraguay.
The 25,500 hectare Chiriguelo exploration concession is held by the Corporation through its Paraguayan subsidiary Minera Itapora S.A. The Chiriguelo Project is located approximately 500 kilometers northeast of Asuncion. Vehicle access is available through the prospect on paved road.
The primary niobium producing ore 'pyrochlore' has been found in abundance at Chiriguelo, both at surface and in historic drilling. Worldwide production of niobium is limited, with the main production occurring in Brazil at deposits geologically similar to Chiriguelo. The principal uses for niobium are to produce special steel alloys for critical applications such as gas pipelines, and also to produce high-strength super alloys for high temperature applications.
The Corporation has conducted initial surface sampling that verifies an area with high niobium concentrations measuring 600m x 150m within the central carbonatite body.
Abundant concentrations of Rare Earth Oxides have also been located at surface and in trenches at the Chiriguelo deposit. The suite of rare earth elements have a variety commercial applications related to: advanced technologies such as super-conductors, lighting equipment and lasers, optical pigments and catalysts in chemical processes.
The Corporation's initial sampling of Rare Earth Oxides (REO) has demonstrated relatively large proportions of Lanthanum (32.8% of total REO), Cerium (47.3%), Praseodymium (4.4%), and Neodymium (11.9%). Samarium (1.12% of total REO), Europium (0.27%), Gadolinium (1.33%), Dysprosium (0.44%) and Erbium (0.28%) have also been encountered in the REO samples tested to date.
The occurrences of niobium and Rare Earth Oxides in the Corporation's surface samples compare favorably with several producing mines.
Miles Rideout, the President and CEO of Latin American Minerals stated that: "Although we are still putting together a picture of the Chiriguelo target potential, the geological evidence supports a large intrusive source with pyrochlore below the current niobium anomaly on surface. The initial testing of the North Fenite Rim target has produced values of various rare earth elements at levels that are comparable with several REE mines in production. Given these impressive results at this early stage of field work, the Chiriguelo Project shows good potential to produce a sizable niobium/REE deposit."
Paraguay has good social conditions and infrastructure to support construction of new mines. Though underexplored, Paraguay has favorable regulations for investment, mine development and exports. The Corporation's Paso Yobai Gold Project and Itapoty Diamond Project are also located in Paraguay.
Source: Latin American Minerals Inc.