Solomon Resources Limited is pleased to report on its preliminary exploration of the Rurembo Tin Project in the Republic of Rwanda. The Rurembo licence area includes highly prospective pegmatite swarms immediately adjacent to the former Belgian-owned cassiterite-columbite-tantalite mine at Gatumba and unexplored strike extensions of that metallogenic district to the north.
Solomon executed an Option Agreement effective July 12th, 2012 with the principals of Speck Minerals Ltd., a Rwandan corporation, to acquire (subject to regulatory approval) a 100% interest in the Rurembo licence. The licence permits prospecting for wolframite, cassiterite and coltan within a concession covering 110,984 hectares located in western Rwanda.
To view Figure 1. Location Map: Rurembo Project, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/SRBfig1.pdf.
The Government of Rwanda Geology and Mines Authority (OGMR) contracted Toronto based consultant Paterson, Grant and Watson Limited to carry out an interpretation of existing geological, geochemical and geophysical data in 2009. The PGW report included 12 detailed mapsheets at 1:100,000 scale and identified 21 Prospective Target Areas (PTA's) that were ranked for tin (Sn), tungsten-niobium-tantalum (W-Nb-Ta) and/or gold (Au) and base metal mineralization. Speck Minerals Ltd. applied for and was granted a Prospecting Licence for two of these PTA's. The Rurembo Licence, which Solomon has optioned from Speck, covers an area of approximately 1000 square kilometers in northwestern Rwanda immediately north of and on strike with the historic tin producer at Gatumba.
The owner of a Prospecting Licence may apply to convert any portion or multiple portions of that licence to an Exploration Licence at any time prior to expiry, but there is no certainty that the conversion will be allowed. Conversion to an Exploration Licence is subject to submitting a satisfactory report on the work done on the precursor Prospecting Licence, demonstrating the technical and financial capability of the applicant, an environmental impact study and local government approval. Any Exploration Licences that ensue are valid for four years and renewable for a final four year term and permit drilling and trenching and limited bulk sampling.
Location and Physiography:
The Rurembo Prospecting Licence is situated in the northwestern portion of Rwanda and extends from the city of Gitarama (population 83,000) in the south to the city of Ruhengeri (population 87,000) in the north. Limited commercial services and accommodation are available in both Gitarama and Ruhengeri, and most supplies and services in support of exploration may be sourced from the city of Kigali (population 909,000).
The Rurembo licence area is dissected by the Nyabarongo River (the upper reaches of the White Nile) which drains the highlands south and west of the licence area and flows through the central portion of the licence area towards Kigali and Lake Victoria. Elevation ranges from 1400 meters in the major river valleys to 2384 meters in the rugged uplands west of the Nyabarongo and south of Kijina to 2255 meters in the highlands west of Gatumba.
The licence area is accessible by paved two lane highway from Kigali. The southern portion near Gatumba is approximately 1.5 hour drive from Kigali and the northern portion near Ruhengeri is approximately 2.0 hour drive from Kigali. There are good quality paved highways flanking the permit area to the east and west, and a paved artery follows the Nyarabongo and Mukungwa Rivers running north-south in the central portion of the area. Dirt roads run off these main corridors at irregular intervals, passable in the dry season with four wheel drive vehicles and with caution in the wet season. Many of the bridges on these secondary roads have been out since the genocide, and Solomon may have to erect temporary crossings in some areas.
The climate of Rwanda is temperate, with two rainy seasons (March to May and October to November). The high altitude of Rwanda provides the country with a pleasant tropical highland climate, with a mean daily temperature variation of less than 2° C. Temperatures vary considerably from region to region because of the variations in altitude. At Kigali, on the central plateau, the average temperature is 21° C. The exploration season in the licence area extends throughout the year. There are no climatic restrictions on the conduct of field exploration.
Power is available from the Rwandan national grid throughout the licence area, and the Nayarabongo and Mukungwa Rivers transect the licence area from north to south and provide an ample supply of water for industrial purposes.
To view Figure 2. Physiographic Setting and Borders of the Rurembo Licence Area, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/SRBfig2.pdf.
2012 Preliminary Exploration Program:
The Rurembo Project is a grassroots exploration for Sn-Ta-Nb (W), largely predicated upon the proximity of the former Belgian mine at Gatumba now privately operated as the Gatumba Mining Concession and the projected strike extensions of that geological environment into the Rurembo Licence Area.
There are artisanal miners active within the Rurembo Licence Area; these are believed to be largely illegal and rudimentary cassiterite-coltan extraction operations directed at the weathered exposure of pegmatite dykes and no production records are available.
Exploration in the Rurembo Licence area will be directed at pegmatites variably mineralized with columbite-tantalite and/or cassiterite. At the type locality in the adjacent Gatumba Concession, beryl, ambygonite, spodumene, apatite and lithium-phosphates are the most prevalent accessory minerals. At the regional scale more than 130 large pegmatites have been mapped to date, but this encompasses only a small portion of the inter-massif area of the Rurembo licence area in which a far greater number of pegmatites are thought to exist.
The pegmatites of Gatumba, dated at 968 Ma, occur in four parallel networks between the granites, with each individual network traceable up to 5 kilometers in extent. Thickness can vary from several centimeters to 30 meters, and lengths of tens of meters up to 2400 meters. The vertical extent of the pegmatites is not known as only the uppermost weathered portions have been investigated by artisanal mining.
In the present exploration program, regional geochemical indicators include Sn, lithium (Li), beryllium (Be), Ta, Nb, W and molybdenum (Mo). The pegmatite dykes may report on airborne spectrometry as there is a known thorium provenance in the Gatumba pegmatites, and airborne gravity should help differentiate the less dense pegmatites from the surrounding diorites and metasediments. Analysis of aerial photography and satellite imagery should focus on identifying dilationary zones where the north-south trending pegmatites are cross cut by regional structures.
Solomon field crews mobilized to the Republic of Rwanda on August 2nd, 2012. The Company has leased a field office and expat residence in the capital city of Kigali and hired a Country Manager and support staff.
To view Figure 3. Nayarabongo River and Paved Highway in the Rurembo Licence Area, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/SRBfig3.pdf.
Solomon's Project Geologist, Terry Coyle, M.Sc., P.Geo. supervised the preliminary field program which included geological orientation, establishing logistical support, field visits to the type locality at Gatumba, preliminary inventory of artisanal minesites and documenting access and infrastructure in the project area.
Solomon has contracted retired OGMR geologist Claver Mahungiro of Geoscad Ltd. and his associate Celestin Havugimana to conduct an inventory of the artisanal miners in the Rurembo Licence Area. It is expected that Mahungiro will report on both legal and illegal artisanal miners within the licence area to aid further exploration decisions.
Solomon has hired on a casual basis geologist Jean de la Paix Ngizimana, the former exploration geologist for the Gatumba Mining Concession, to facilitate the inspection of the type locality at Gatumba by Solomon field crews and assist with preliminary reconnaissance in the Rurembo Licence Area.
Geophysicist Kit Campbell of Intrepid Geophysics Ltd. of North Vancouver, B.C. has initiated analysis of historical airborne geophysics and conducted preliminary lineament interpretation from a detailed orthophotographic base that Solomon acquired from OGMR.
The preliminary exploration program was directed at establishing a solid foundation for conventional regional and property scale mineral exploration beginning early in the spring of 2013.
Exploration to date has been confined to ground-truthing the government topographic and geological database as significant errors with reported UTM coordinates of topographic and geological features were encountered early in the program. Access has proven difficult with many of the secondary and tertiary roads mislocated in governmental mapping, and in many cases bridges and river crossings that existed prior to the genocide were found to be absent in the field.
A field office has been established in the rural area 20 kilometers north of Gitarama and Solomon field crews have begun the task of documenting the active and dormant artisanal mine sites in the project area. This has proven to be a time-consuming task as government records of artisanal activity are virtually non-existent and the dataset has to be constructed from scratch.
Solomon's President and CEO Randy Rogers observed: "The Rurembo Tin Project presents a very prospective exploration program for Sn-Ta-Nb (W) mineralization in pegmatite dykes, griesens and quartz veins within Meso-Proterozoic granitic massifs and associated rocks. The current exploration challenge in this large licence area is to quickly identify priority targets using conventional surface exploration techniques; should the results of the current field program warrant an application for Exploration Licences on selected targets prior to the expiry of the Prospecting Licence in February of 2014 a program of mechanized trenching and drilling would likely be warranted to further define targets. It should be stressed that there is no certainty of conversion, and the current licence does not convey title to any mineral resource which may be contained in the licence area."
Solomon has implemented quality assurance and quality control measures in its exploration programs. All field and data analysis work is carried out under the supervision of qualified Solomon geologists and geophysicists in accordance with procedures developed to conform to current 'best practices' in mineral exploration.
Randy Rogers, M.Sc., P.Geo. a "Qualified Person" for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101, Standards for Disclosure for Mineral Projects of the Canadian Securities Administrators, and the President and Chief Executive Officer of Solomon, has verified the data disclosed herein by conducting a field examination of the Rurembo Licence Area, supervision of exploration contractors working in the field and a review of historical reports and has approved the written disclosure contained in this news release.