Texas Rare Earth Resources Corp. (Pink Sheets: SDSR), formerly Standard Silver Corporation, announced today it has executed a 20 year lease ("Lease") with the Texas General Land Office covering 860 acres at Round Top Mountain in Hudspeth County, Texas ("Round Top").
Additionally, Texas Rare Earth owns prospecting permits for approximately 10,000 acres adjacent to the Lease. We believe the favorable mineralogy and the 67% heavy to light rare earth ratios in samples from the deposit may offer attractive targets ranging from a one billion ton plus bulk low grade mineable deposit hosted in the Round Top rhyolite intrusive, to more conventional higher grade targets hosted deeper in the intrusive and in the carbonate wall rocks. Should processing of this rhyolite prove feasible, we believe Round Top has the potential to become a long term domestic source of these strategically vital metals.
Management plans to pursue several alternatives for developing the rare earth (REE) potential of Round Top. Round Top was the site of extensive drilling in the 1980's by Cabot Corporation and Cyprus Minerals. Based on published sets of samples (Price et al 1990 GSA Special Paper 246), as well as internal sampling now in progress, we believe that the in place value per metric ton of the rhyolite is sufficient to warrant examining the possibility of developing a large scale open-pit mining operation if a process can be developed to concentrate the rare earth minerals. The mass of the Round Top rhyolite body has been estimated by Texas Bureau of Economic Geology geologists to be at least 1.6 billion metric tons. The heavy to light rare earth ratio of 67% seen to date is highly encouraging. There also exists a possibility that other minerals containing other rare elements such as niobium, tantalum, zirconium, hafnium and lithium may be co-produced.
There may exist enriched phases within the Rhyolite. The samples analyzed to date are predominantly from the border zone of the rhyolite body. Preliminary examination of drill samples indicates a wide variation of grain-size and alteration style within the rhyolite. We believe that there is the possibility that phases of this rhyolite will be enriched in REE and other rare elements and that this concentration and stratification of the REE in the cooling igneous rock may be analogous to the geology in Avalon's Thor Lake deposit.
High grade replacement deposits in the underlying limestones and veins or pegmatites within the rhyolite may exist. Unlike most REE deposits now being explored, the Round Top mineralizing system has not been deeply eroded and only its upper parts are exposed. A striking feature of this deposit is the intensity of hydrothermal alteration and brecciation associated with it and the high fluorine content of the rhyolites, 1.3% for the Round Top rhyolite. These rhyolites have intruded thick sections of carbonate rocks. Carbonate rocks are extremely reactive and are readily replaced by fluorite when contacted by solutions high in fluorine. Fluorine is the active agent that mobilizes the REE, beryllium and uranium and other metals in these types of geologic systems. REE's are significantly less soluble than beryllium or uranium and can be expected to be the first elements deposited deeper in the system and would be expected to form replacements in the first limestones they come in contact with.
We are currently evaluating data from the Cabot Corp-Cyprus Minerals beryllium exploration and development program in the late 1980's for rare earths and uranium. Samples from approximately 200 reverse circulation and core drill holes aggregating approximately 45,000 feet have been sorted and securely stored. Equipment and facilities have been established for detailed re-logging. To date, some 44 of these drill holes have been re-logged. Selected samples are being submitted for chemical analysis. In addition to REE, we believe the property may contain commercial quantities of beryllium and uranium.
To more accurately reflect its focus on the development of the heavy earth Round Top deposit, the company has changed its name to Texas Rare Earth Resources Corp.
Source: Texas Rare Earth Resources Corp.