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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Peruvian rare earth element discovery could reduce critical dependence on Chinese sources

04 January, 2016
RioSol SAC LLC and Compania Minera Rio Sol SAC have announced a significant rare earth element and poly-metallic claim discovery in Peru, with reports indicating the 10kme claim as among the largest rare earth claims in Peru containing both light rare earth elements (LREEs) and heavy rare earth elements and metals (HREEs). Third-party geology and geochemical analysis indicates the claim is the largest in Peru, with further exploration warranted to further delineate the size and scale of the claim.

Rare earth metals and alloys that contain them are used in many devices that people use every day such as computer memory, DVDs, rechargeable batteries, cell phones, catalytic converters, specialty magnets, fluorescent lighting and much more. Currently, approximately 90-95 percent of rare earth elements are located in China. From an economic standpoint, rare earth element claims are among the most sought-after in the world due to the scarcity of commercial deposits. Having a supply source in the Americas for commodities used today and in the future will be important for geographic diversity and commercial competition.


 


Rare earth elements are a group of 17 chemical elements that occur together in the periodic table. The group consists of yttrium and the 15-lanthanide elements (lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, and lutetium). Scandium is found in most rare earth element deposits and is sometimes classified as a rare earth element. 


 


The rare earth elements are all metals, and the group is often referred to as "rare earth metals." These metals have many similar properties and that often causes them to be found together in geologic deposits. They are also referred to as "rare earth oxides" because many of them are typically sold as oxide compounds.


 


Over the past two years, RioSol has been testing the claim, initially focused on base metals. However, rare earths were discovered in recent field explorations and assay results, and further testing was conducted. Both the rare earth geologist and RioSol general manager Max Cruz will be presenting the results of the discovery at PROEXPLO 2015, the 9th International Congress of Prospectors and Explorers in May.


 


The claim area is located approximately 95km northwest of Cusco, Peru.


 


The geology consultants leading the project were Rildo Oscar Rodriguez and a Peruvian rare earth expert, both of Lima. According to Mr. Rodriguez, "The claim is one of the newest rare earth finds in all of Latin America that contains both light and heavy rare earth elements and metals, as well as copper, zinc, aluminium and other base metals. It proves that the potential for rare earth elements exists outside of China with significant opportunity for development of new production in a mining-friendly country."

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