VANCOUVER, Feb. 5 /CNW/ - Tasman Metals Ltd. ("Tasman" or the "Company") (TSXV - TSM). Mr Mark Saxon, President & CEO, announces staking of the historic Korsnas rare earth element (REE) - lead (Pb) mine, located 350 km north of Helsinki in central western Finland (Figure 1). Tasman has acquired a 100% interest in the former mine by staking the Korsnas 1-4 claim applications that total 268 hectares, and 6,652 hectares of surrounding claim reservations. Applications for claims were submitted following a presentation to and discussion with local community leaders by Tasman's personnel.
The Korsnas REE-Pb mine was operated as a mixed open pit and underground operation by Outokumpu Oy from 1959 and closed in 1972 due to falling Pb prices. A REE concentrate was produced on site, proving the amenability of the ore for processing and providing an excellent basis for Tasman's future metallurgical research. The historic mine site has excellent infrastructure, lying only 1km from the Baltic coast with an excellent all weather road network and a skilled and well serviced local community. Outokumpu Oy's business focus at the time of mining was base metals and mining was therefore focused to maximize Pb, not REE grades and recoveries.
Korsnas was first identified in 1950 through the discovery of Pb sulphide-bearing glacial boulders. In the 1950's, the Geological Survey of Finland followed up the mineralized boulders with various geochemical and geophysical methods and diamond drilling which led to the discovery of the REE-Pb deposit in 1955. Between 1959 and 1972, Outokumpu Oy produced a total of 0.87 million tonnes of ore at a grade of 3.6% Pb and 0.83% REE's. This production estimate is based on a report titled "Outokumpu Oy:n Korsnasin ja Petolahden kaivosten vaiheita" by Reino Himmi in 1975.
REE-Pb mineralization occurs within a north-south trending skarn zone comprised of coarse-grained calcite, feldspar, diopside, apatite, galena, scapolite, fluorite and barite hosted by a regional mica gneiss. The mined and drill defined ore body is approximately 20m thick, is known to trend over a strike length of greater than 300m, and extends from surface to a vertical depth of 175m. Ore resources remaining at the conclusion of mining have not yet been determined. It remains unknown to what extent mineralization continues along strike and at depth from the mined out areas.
Apatite, monazite and allanite are the principal REE minerals present at Korsnas, although the site is well known for numerous exotic rare earth element minerals. Based on limited sampling of rare earth element bearing minerals by Papunen et al. 1986 (Suomen malmigeologia), Ce, La and Nd comprise 80 - 90 % of the REE's present, the balance consisting principally of Pr and Sm (see Table 1 for a full list of rare earth elements).
In addition to the Korsnas mine site, gravity, seismic refraction surveys and diamond drilling have been conducted by the Geological Survey of Finland and Outokumpu Oy within the claim reservations held 100% by Tasman that lie south of Korsnas. This work has indentified skarnified fault zones with the same mineralogy as Korsnas, plus numerous REE- and Pb- rich glacial boulders.
Tasman has access to all publically available exploration data and drill core from the Geological Survey of Finland and Outokumpu Oy. This information is currently being compiled and verified, the detail of which will be released as it comes to hand.
Mr Saxon states, "With the addition of the Korsnas to its portfolio, Tasman is in the unique position of securing title to a former REE producing mine. This is a key addition to Tasman's REE project portfolio within Scandinavia, and will become a focus of exploration during the coming year. The 13 year production history by Outokumpu provides a wealth of information and demonstrates that an REE concentrate can be produced from Korsnas ore. With an exploration program focused on REE's, the prospectivity, in combination with the infrastructure of the region, provides Tasman with excellent potential to quickly advance this exciting project."
REE consumption is growing, being essential in the production of hybrid/electric cars, solar panels, wind turbines, compact fluorescent lighting, high-energy magnets, mobile phones and computers. Tasman is well placed as the European Union is actively supporting policies to promote the domestic supply of REE's to secure high-tech industry.
For general discussion and commentary on the rare metals, please visit www.raremetalblog.com.
On behalf of the Board,
Mark Saxon, President & CEO
Please click on the following link to view Table 1: Strategic Metals, including Rare Earth Elements and their common usage:
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Forward Looking Statements. This Company news release contains certain "forward-looking" statements and information relating to the Company that are based on the beliefs of the Company's management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company's management. Such statements reflect the current risks, uncertainties and assumptions related to certain factors including, without limitations, competitive factors, general economic conditions, customer relations, relationships with vendors and strategic partners, the interest rate environment, governmental regulation and supervision, seasonality, technological change, changes in industry practices, and one-time events. Should any one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein.
SOURCE Tasman Metals Ltd.
For further information: For further information: Investor Information: www.tasmanmetals.com, 1305 - 1090 West Georgia St., Vancouver, BC, V6E 3V7; Company Contact: Mariana Bermudez, (604) 685-9316, Investor Relation Consultants - Mining Interactive, Nick Nicolaas, (604) 657-4058, Email: email@example.com