CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Apr 10, 2013) - BACANORA MINERALS LTD. (TSX VENTURE:BCN) ("Bacanora" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has received the results of surface rock samples collected during the first phase of the field work programme on the El Sauz and Fleur lithium concessions (the "Concessions") that form part of the Sonora Lithium Project in northern Mexico. The Company has provided Rare Earth Minerals PLC (REM.L) with an option to earn up to a 49.9% interest in the two Concessions by making cash payments to Bacanora and funding exploration (see news release dated February 14, 2013).
The sampling to date has focused on the El Sauz concession, where 210 samples were collected from exposures of the sedimentary-volcanic sequence that hosts lithium-bearing clay units. Geological mapping indicates that lithium-bearing clay units occur within a sedimentary-volcanic sequence that, on El Sauz, is exposed over a strike length of 2 kilometres in a window through Tertiary capping basalt. The sequence appears to be exposed in an open fold with one limb dipping gently to the northeast and the other gently to the southwest. For further details, please refer to the Sample Location Plan map that accompanies this news release.
Rock samples were collected as channel samples, 1.5 m in length, taken across strata from surface exposures. The samples were analysed by ALS Chemex Laboratories at their facility in North Vancouver, BC. Results of the analyses indicate that lithium values range from 10 to 7,220 ppm Li (3.84% LCE*) with 10 samples greater than 2,168 ppm (0.95 percentile). The samples also have values in potassium which range from 0.04% to 3.07%, as well as other alkali metals. High lithium values are localized in three areas, which may correspond to exposures of a clay unit that correlates with the upper clay unit on the adjoining La Ventana concession owned by Bacanora.
The field work programme, as outlined in the news release dated March 22, 2013, will advance to the diamond drilling stage with initial holes being placed adjacent to the exposures of the Li-bearing clay units on El Sauz in order to test the down dip continuity of the units and their Li content. Mapping and surface sampling will continue on the Fleur concession. The first drill hole is expected to be collared around the end of April.
About the Sonora Lithium Project:
The Company's interests in El Sauz and Fleur Concessions cover 3,411 hectares out of a total of 5,786 contiguous hectares that make up the Sonora Lithium Project (the "Project") owned by Bacanora.
Initial rock sampling and mapping of the Project by Bacanora located the lithium-bearing clay units within a sedimentary-volcanic sequence. Drilling by Bacanora in 2010 and 2011 located two lithium-bearing clay units (upper and lower) that average 41 and 22 m in thickness, respectively, and that are separated by an ignimbrite unit varying from 1 to 45 m in thickness. The sedimentary-volcanic sequence dips at approximately 20° to the east and crops out along 3.5 km of strike length. The exposures are in erosional windows looking through overlying basalt that covers much of the area. The lithium-bearing clay minerals have been identified as hectorite and polylithionite.
Within the Project area on the La Ventana concession that is 100% owned by Bacanora and adjoins the ground under option to REM, National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") compliant inferred resources have been estimated for two clay units (referred to as the "La Ventana Lithium Deposit"). The inferred resources for the two clay units total 60 million tonnes averaging 3,000 ppm Li (equivalent to 1.6% lithium carbonate assuming 100% recovery and no process losses). Bacanora has used the inferred resources on the La Ventana Lithium Deposit for a Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") of the concession (refer to Bacanora news release dated January 25, 2013). Highlights of the PEA for a potential lithium mining and production operation with an output of 35,000 tonnes battery grade lithium carbonate per annum over a 20 year open pit mine life suggest annual revenue of $US210 million for an Internal Rate of Return of 138%, with a 1.9 year pay back. Capital costs are estimated at $US114 million and average operating costs at $US1,958/tonne. Net present value of the Project, discounted at 8%, is $US848 million, assuming an average lithium carbonate price of $US6,000/tonne.
Management is very pleased with the results to date which merit advancing the El Sauz project to the first drill testing of lithium bearing clay units on this property. Should the outcropping lithium clays on El Sauz be found to correlate with those on the Company's La Ventana Lithium Deposit, then a reasonable inference will be capable of being made based on available geological evidence that the sedimentary basin that hosts the lithium-rich clays extends, in a northwesterly direction, for at least 7 kilometres.
Lithium is the lightest of the alkali metals and has unique electrochemical properties that make it the element of choice for batteries of high energy storage capacity and other energy applications as well as a host of other industrial and health applications.
*LCE = lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) Equivalent: determined by multiplying Li value in percent by 5.324 to get an equivalent Li2CO3 value in percent. Use of LCE assumes 100% recovery and no process losses in conversion of Li to Li2CO3.
Carl G. Verley, P.Geo. is the Qualified Person pursuant to NI 43-101 and has reviewed of the technical contents of this news release.
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities nor shall there be any sale of securities in any state in the United States in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
Except for statements of historical fact, this news release contains certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities law. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. In particular, forward-looking information in this press release includes, but is not limited to, the estimated future value of the La Ventana Lithium Deposit. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. We cannot guarantee future results, performance or achievements. Consequently, there is no representation that the actual results achieved will be the same, in whole or in part, as those set out in the forward-looking information.
Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking information. Some of the risks and other factors that could cause the results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information include, but are not limited to: commodity price volatility; general economic conditions in Canada, the United States, Mexico and globally; industry conditions, governmental regulation, including environmental regulation; unanticipated operating events or performance; failure to obtain industry partner and other third party consents and approvals, if and when required; the availability of capital on acceptable terms; the need to obtain required approvals from regulatory authorities; stock market volatility; competition for, among other things, capital, skilled personnel and supplies; changes in tax laws; and the other risk factors disclosed under our profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and within the body of the PEA. Readers are cautioned that this list of risk factors should not be construed as exhaustive.
The forward-looking information contained in this news release is expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. We undertake no duty to update any of the forward-looking information to conform such information to actual results or to changes in our expectations except as otherwise required by applicable securities legislation. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
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President and Chief Executive Officer