Vancouver, British Columbia / TheNewswire / Centenera Mining Corporation (the “Company”) – (TSXV: CT, OTCQB: CTMIF), reports that exploration is underway at the Company’s El Quemado Tantallum-Niobium-Bismuth-Lithium Pegmatite Project (“El Quemado” or the “Project”) in Salta Province, northwest Argentina. A definitive option agreement in respect of the Project was signed on August 31, 2016 following completion of due diligence by the Company and the agreement was accepted for filing by the TSX Venture on September 15, 2016.
Planning, acquisition and mobilization of supplies for the exploration camp has been ongoing for the past month. The camp is expected to be fully operational with exploration underway in the coming days. As previously disclosed, the Company plans to complete geological mapping, prospecting and sampling of the Project before the end of 2016.
Work will initially focus on the former producing El Quemado mine as well as the El Penon and Santa Elena prospects (Figure 1) located within a few kilometers of the former producing El Quemado mine. Work will also focus on channel sampling across pegmatite zones to define mineralization within the zoned deposits as well as characterization samples from waste dumps. As the program progresses, the geologists are expected to expand their work south towards the Tres Tetas prospect.
Several known pegmatite occurrences are located within the Property, most of which have seen some historical exploitation. The Project includes the historic El Quemado small-scale mine, a former tantalum-producing operation where Minera Anzotana Co. produced niobium-tantalum concentrates. Historical records indicate that tantalum-niobium oxide concentrate grades ranging from 7.16% to 53.85% (average 39.65%) tantalum and from 3.7% to 69.14% (average 20.98%) niobium in 11 concentrate shipments.
Despite historical production, no systematic modern exploration has been undertaken and the occurrences have never been drilled or been the subject of formal resource estimation, although historical estimates do exist in the literature. Most historical information dates from 1943, when the deposits were first exploited through to 1981. Pegmatites are reportedly 4 meters to 40 meters thick in the Santa Elena area, west of El Quemado (Figure 1).
The Company cautions that the grade of concentrates is derived from private mining company records that are historical in nature. Investors are further cautioned that a qualified person has not yet completed sufficient work to be able to verify the historical information, and therefore the information should not be relied upon. In addition, the Company is quoting historical concentrate grades, being the grade of mined material after processing and upgrading. The Company is not disclosing any historical resource or reserve estimate and further exploration will be required to assess the in-situ grade of the mineralized material and to assess the potential for the existence of a mineral resource.
Figure 1: Location of El Quemado, El Penon and Santa Elena prospects where initial work will focus.
The recent study of the El Quemado pegmatites (Marquez-Zavalia & Galliski 2012, Canadian Mineralogist paper) describes tantalum and bismuth minerals in the El Quemado system, which is a spodumene (lithium) subtype, rare element class granitic pegmatite. The 2012 study revealed systematic zoning; a. border zone; b. wall zone; c. outer intermediate zone; d. inner intermediate zone; e. core zone (Plate 1). Tantalum occurs throughout all zones while lithium (spodumene) is concentrated in the inner intermediate zone (d.). Outcrop is described as sparse in the area, with most of the pegmatites under shallow cover.
Historical production was focussed on tantalum, niobium and bismuth in the El Quemado area. This is a common situation in these types of pegmatite deposits where historical pricing and demand was more supportive of tantalum mining but where modern demand and economics now support lithium exploitation. The world’s largest hard-rock lithium producer, located in the Greenbushes pegmatite belt (southwest Australia) was a former tantalum producing deposit from the 1940s where modern tantalum extraction commenced in the early 1990s before lithium was first produced in the mid-2000s.
About Lithium – Lithium is produced from both brines and hard-rock sources (pegmatites). Estimates from 2015 put global lithium production from conventional hard-rock mining of lithium minerals as high as 44% (source: Macquarie research 2016). Lithium pegmatites are a viable source of the metal because of their high concentration in the ores relative to brines, and production from these deposits mitigates global concerns about dependence on supplies from dominant brine producers in Chile and Argentina. Chemical-grade lithium refers to spodumene that is converted to lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide. Pegmatites are a source of technical-grade lithium, where spodumene is used directly in the ceramics or glass industries without processing.
About Tantalum – 70% of global tantalum supply is used in the electronics industry; smart phones and other modern “essentials”. Global tantalum supply, which was formerly dominated by production out of Australia, is now dominated by production out of Central Africa, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo. This tantalum has been sold by illegal militias implicated in human rights abuses to fund civil war. The U.S. government signed the Financial Stability Act into law in 2010 to stem the trade of “conflict tantalum”, and a system that includes mineral chemistry, geochronology, and mineral liberation analysis is being developed to trace the origin of tantalum ore.
About Pegmatites – Pegmatites are igneous rocks that form during the final stage of a magma’s crystallization. To be called a pegmatite a rock should be composed almost entirely of crystals that are at least one centimeter in diameter. Most pegmatites have a composition that is similar to granite with abundant quartz, feldspar and mica. Pegmatites can be sources of valuable minerals such as spodumene (lithium) that are rarely found in economic amounts in other types of rocks. In the early stages of crystallization, the ions that form high-temperature minerals are depleted from the melt. Rare ions that do not participate in the crystallization of common rock-forming minerals become concentrated in the melt and in the excluded water. These ions can form the rare minerals that are often found in pegmatites. Examples are small ions such as lithium and beryllium that form spodumene; or large ions such as tantalum that form tantalite. Rare elements concentrated in large crystals make pegmatite a potential source of economic concentrations.
EurGeol Keith Henderson, PGeo, the Company’s President & CEO and a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed the scientific and technical information that forms the basis for portions of this news release, and has approved the disclosure herein. Mr. Henderson is not independent of the Company, as he is an officer and director.
About Centenera Mining Corporation
Centenera is a mineral resource company trading on the TSX Venture Exchange, under the symbol CT. The Company is focused 100% on Argentina with three precious metals assets, a pegmatite asset and extensive exploration datasets. The Company’s strategy is to acquire more high-quality mineral resource assets in Argentina.
For more information on the Company’s board of directors, management and assets, please refer to the Company’s website at www.centeneramining.com.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors of
CENTENERA MINING CORPORATION
President & CEO
For further information, please contact: Keith Henderson
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release, which has been prepared by management.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Except for the statements of historical fact contained herein, the information presented in this news release and the information incorporated by reference herein, constitutes “forward looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws concerning the business, operations and financial performance and condition of Centenera Mining Corporation (the “Company”). All statements, except for statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that management of the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future including such things as future capital expenditures (including the amount and nature thereof), business strategies and measures to implement strategies, competitive strengths, goals, expansion and growth of the business and operations, plans and references to the future success of the Company, and such other matters, are forward looking statements. Often, but not always, forward looking information can be identified by words such as “pro forma”, “plans”, “expects”, “may”, “should”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “potential” or variations of such words including negative variations thereof, and phrases that refer to certain actions, events or results that may, could, would, might or will occur or be taken or achieved. Forward looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward looking information. Such risks and other factors include, among others, operating and technical difficulties in connection with mineral exploration and development and mine development activities at the El Quemado Project, including the geological mapping, prospecting and sampling program being proposed for the Project (the “Program”), actual results of exploration activities, including the Program, estimation or realization of mineral reserves and mineral resources, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, capital expenditures, the costs and timing of the development of new deposits, the availability of a sufficient supply of water and other materials, requirements for additional capital, future prices of precious metals, tantalum and lithium, changes in general economic conditions, changes in the financial markets and in the demand and market price for commodities, possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates, possible failures of plants, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry, delays in obtaining governmental approvals, permits or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities, changes in laws, regulations and policies affecting mining operations, hedging practices, currency fluctuations, title disputes or claims limitations on insurance coverage and the timing and possible outcome of pending litigation, environmental issues and liabilities, risks related to joint venture operations, and risks related to the integration of acquisitions, as well as those factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Management Information Circular (April 2016) and as discussed in the annual management’s discussion and analysis and other filings of the Company with the Canadian Securities Authorities, copies of which can be found under the Company’s profile on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward looking information. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward looking information in this news release or incorporated by reference herein, except as otherwise required by law.