Avrupa Minerals Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:AVU) is pleased to announce the commencement of fieldwork to upgrade their Covas tungsten project in northern Portugal, near the border town of Caminha. The work plan consists of collecting and geochemically analyzing 250-300 soil samples located in a 3.5 x 2.0 kilometer grid covering the project area.
The Covas project consists of a ring of wolframite- and scheelite-bearing skarn deposits surrounding an uplifted complex of multiple granitic intrusive bodies covered by metamorphosed sedimentary rocks. Known high grade skarn mineralization is located in a specific limey stratigraphic horizon that surrounds the intrusion complex, known as the Covas Dome. The source of tungsten skarn mineralization is probably related to emplacement of one or more of the intrusive bodies. Two intersecting, regional structural features, one trending north-northwest and one trending northwest, control the emplacement of the intrusions, and thus, along with favorable host rocks, the location of skarn mineralization.
Previously, from 1951 to 1974, the skarn deposits were partially exploited by two separate mining companies in the form of two small open pits and one underground working. Records indicate that 366,170 metric tonnes, at a grade of 0.61% WO3, were mined during this period. Scattered, non-systematic exploration by numerous companies and government organizations was performed in the skarn district from the 1920's until 1982. Various companies, particularly Union Carbide, completed 329 drill holes, totaling 26,403 meters, in the skarn zone, but tested less than 40% of the skarn target area. Due to difficult access and dense vegetation, virtually no exploration has been completed in the Covas Dome area, where the potential for discovery of large tonnage, bulk-mineable tungsten mineralization is good.
In a 1980 report, Union Carbide estimated the total "reserve of indicated and inferred ore" at Covas in eight separate skarn bodies, including dilution, to be 1,001,900 mt @ 0.67% WO3, with a 2:1 scheelite to wolframite ratio. However, this is historical information and is not a NI-43-101 compliant resource, though the company estimate of indicated and inferred mineral resources was supported by an outside, independent evaluation at the time of the report.
Prior to purchase of the Covas property by Avrupa Minerals, the previous operator, Metallica Mining, using geological mapping, structural analysis, rock/soil/stream geochemistry, and ground magnetometry, identified up to 13 potential drilling targets in the skarn ring zone and accessible parts of the Dome area. The present work by Avrupa is directed towards the discovery of bulk-mineable tungsten mineralization in the Covas Dome. The soil grid will cover the entire dome and much of the skarn ring target area. Multi-element analyses for tungsten and other related elements will be completed by an accredited laboratory in Canada. Completion of the sample collection portion of the program is expected by late October, with results returning towards the end of November.
Avrupa Minerals is actively seeking a mining partner to help further the program and fully develop the potential of the property. Rising tungsten prices and short supply of the metal in Europe make the Covas tungsten project attractive for potential joint venture. The price of tungsten has increased by some 30% since mid-2009, and the European Union has recently published a report which describes tungsten as one of 14 critical raw materials due to their high relative economic importance and high relative supply risk.
Paul W. Kuhn, MSc, PGeo in the State of Washington, USA, President and CEO of Avrupa Minerals Ltd., and a qualified person as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical information contained in this announcement.
Source: Avrupa Minerals Ltd.