Etruscan outlines widespread rare earth occurrences in Namibia

    HALIFAX, Oct. 24 /CNW/ - Etruscan Resources Inc. (EET.TSX) announced that
it has outlined a large number of rare earth element enriched carbonatite
dykes associated with an alkaline intrusive complex on its Lofdal permit in
northern Namibia. Analytical results from 242 outcrop samples and six drill
holes indicate that both light rare earth elements and heavy rare earth
elements occur at Lofdal in sufficient total concentrations (0.5% to 6.0%) to
be of potential economic significance. Rare earth elements ("REEs") constitute
a group of 16 elements and industry standards are to report rare earth deposit
grades as the sum of the total concentration of all rare earth elements
present plus yttrium which is typically an important accessory ("TREE+Y").
    Don Burton, Vice President Corporate Development and Chief Operating
Officer stated "This is a very significant development for Etruscan. We are in
the early days of exploration, however, the potential to discover a world
class rare earth deposit at Lofdal is very real. While we remain a
gold-focused company, particularly in West Africa, we entered Namibia with a
broad mandate to undertake generative grassroots projects targeting a variety
of commodities including gold, base metals, and in the context of IOCG
deposits - associated rare earths.
    Based on the relative percentages of rare earths at Lofdal and current
market pricing, the in situ value for the Lofdal dykes assuming an average
grade of 0.5-2% TREE+Y, is on the order of US$250-$500 per tonne. To put this
in context, that is equivalent in grade to a 10-20 g/t gold deposit with gold
at $800 per ounce. While we have only begun our work at Lofdal, with those
kinds of grade equivalents and a target area of 150 km2 this is a significant
corporate development."
    Etruscan wishes to acknowledge the work of the Geological Survey of
Namibia within the Ministry of Mines and Energy who's geoscientists recognized
the economic potential of the rare earth element occurrences at Lofdal.
Etruscan's initial interest in the area was sparked by the doctoral thesis
studies and research on IOCG deposits conducted by Alberto Lobo-Guerrero Sanz,
currently an independent geological consultant residing in Columbia.

    Uses and Occurrence of Rare Earth Elements

    Rare earth elements are specialized commodities and some background
information is necessary to appreciate the significance and potential of this
development for Etruscan in Namibia.
    Rare earth elements are used for a number of specialized "green" or high
technology applications including "super" magnets for electric motors and
rechargeable batteries in hybrid cars, automotive catalysts, mobile phones and
video display screens. The rare earth commodity market is controlled and
dominated by China which produces over 95% of the world supply. China has
recently imposed export quotas and tariffs on rare earth elements. With the
single exception of the Mountain Pass operation in the United States, there
are no primary rare earth deposits in production outside of China. Only a
handful of rare earth deposits are being considered for development and the
reader is encouraged to visit the websites of the following companies which
provide excellent background information on rare earth deposits and
applications in general: Mt. Weld (Lynas Corporation) and Nolans Bore (Arafura
Resources) in Australia, Thor Lake (Avalon Ventures) and Hoidas Lake (Great
Western Minerals Group) in Canada, and Mountain Pass (formerly held by
Chevron/Molycorp) and Bear Lodge (Rare Element Resources) in the United
    Rare earth elements are actually widely distributed in rocks, however,
unlike base and precious metals they are rarely found in sufficient
concentrations that would constitute an economic mineral deposit. In addition
to the 15 REEs (also referred to as lanthanides), the element yttrium is also
commonly associated and reported with REE deposits. Deposit grades are
typically reported as percentages of total rare earths ("TREE"), or total rare
earth oxides (TREO") plus or minus yttrium.

    Valuation of Rare Earth Elements

    The grade alone does not provide sufficient information upon which to
determine the economic value of REEs. One must also know the exact mix and
concentrations of elements that occur in the deposit. A rare earth deposit can
therefore comprise a highly variable mix of these 16 elements and the economic
value of the deposit will be determined by the respective concentrations and
current market pricing of each element.
    Rare earth elements are subdivided into light rare earths ("LREEs") and
heavy rare earths ("HREEs"). LREEs comprise the lighter atomic number elements
lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium and samarium whereas
the HREEs comprise europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium,
thulium, ytterbium and lutetium. LREEs and yttrium fetch moderate prices in
the range of $4 - $30 per kilogram whereas HREEs command much higher prices in
the range of $100-$800 per kilogram with thulium and lutetium selling between
$2000-$3500 per kilogram. Rare earth deposits that contain relatively high
abundances of HREEs can therefore be very valuable at lower grades. The REE
carbonatite dykes at Lofdal are enriched in HREEs.
    For comparative purposes the following tabulation presents the relative
proportion of REEs in the 242 Lofdal samples versus known rare earth deposits:

       Rare Earth Element Distribution of Lofdal Dykes Compared to Some
                          Major Rare Earth Deposits
                (percent distribution calculated from oxides)
                              Lofdal     Mt. Weld     Mountain       Hoidas
       Element      Atomic   Dykes(1)          (2)      Pass(3)      Lake(4)
                    Symbol      (%)           (%)           (%)          (%)
       Lanthanum        La    24.4          21.9          33.0         19.8
    L  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
       Cerium           Ce    39.0          46.4          49.0         45.8
    R  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
       Praseodymium     Pr     3.9           4.9           4.0          5.8
    E  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
       Neodymium        Nd    12.1          17.3          13.0         21.9
    E  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
       Samarium         Sm     2.1           2.5           0.5          2.9
       Europium         Eu     0.7           0.6           0.1          0.6
       Gadolinium       Gd     2.4           1.7           0.2          1.3
    H  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
       Terbium          Tb     0.4           0.2       Insigni-         0.1
    R  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
       Dysprosium       Dy     1.9           0.9       Insigni-         0.4
    E  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
       Holmium          Ho     0.4           0.1       Insigni-     Insigni-
                                                        ficant       ficant
    E  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
       Erbium           Er     1.0           0.3       Insigni-         0.2
       Thulium          Tm     0.1           0.1       Insigni-     Insigni-
                                                        ficant       ficant
       Ytterbium        Yb     0.8       Insigni-      Insigni-     Insigni-
                                          ficant        ficant       ficant
       Lutetium         Lu     0.1           0.0       Insigni-     Insigni-
                                                        ficant       ficant
       Yttrium           Y    10.8           3.1       Insigni-         1.3
       Total %               100.0          99.9          99.8         99.9

    (1) Etruscan Resources 242 samples of carbonatite dyke
    (2) Lynas Corporation Website
    (3) Molycorp Website
    (4) Great Western Minerals Website

    Lofdal Geology and Mineralization

    Carbonatite bodies at Lofdal occur as dykes and intrusions together with
syenite and nepheline syenite bodies which constitute an alkaline intrusive
complex that has intruded highly metamorphosed gneisses and schists of the
Huab Basement Complex. Detailed field mapping has demonstrated that more
carbonatite bodies exist than were previously mapped and in some instances
previously mapped syenite intrusions are in part actually carbonatite plugs of
considerable dimension. Individual dykes have been mapped over strike lengths
of up to 1.3 kilometers and likely continue for up to 5 kilometers in strike.
Dyke thicknesses are highly variable, from less than 0.5 meters up to
8 meters. Reconnaissance drilling from six reverse circulation holes at two
locations has confirmed the dykes pinch and swell but can continue to depths
of at least 100 vertical meters.
    All rock samples submitted for analysis have been selected grab samples
and the average grade of all dyke samples taken to date (242 samples in total)
is 0.8% total rare earth elements plus yttrium ("TREE+Y"). One hundred
twenty-four (124) of the samples were at or above an average grade of 0.5% and
averaged 1.34% TREE+Y and 67 of the samples were at or above an average grade
of 1% and averaged 1.94% TREE+Y. The highest individual sample graded
6.0% TREE+Y and samples taken by the Geological Survey of Namibia have graded
up to 8.3% TREE+Y. The best drill intercept was 5 meters of 1.7% TREE+Y.

    Exploration Potential at Lofdal

    Etruscan's initial interest in this part of Namibia was exploration for
iron oxide copper gold ("IOCG") deposits and it was believed that the rare
earth occurrence at Lofdal might be associated with IOCG-type mineralization.
However, the results from the on-going systematic prospecting program suggest
that the potential exists to discover a stand-alone rare earth deposit of
economic significance.
    Rare earth deposits are commonly associated with anomalous concentrations
of uranium or thorium and the REE-enriched dykes at Lofdal are characterized
by anomalous concentrations of thorium. Airborne radiometric geophysical
surveys are therefore a highly effective exploration tool. Wide spaced
(1 kilometer) airborne data is available from the Ministry of Mines and Energy
which provides a general regional picture and clearly shows a large response
over the Lofdal area. The airborne radiometric anomaly at Lofdal that is
associated with the REE dykes and alkaline complex covers a surface area of
approximately 150 km2. Mapping and sampling to date has only covered a surface
area of approximately 25 km2.
    Mapping at Lofdal has also delineated larger intrusive carbonatite
bodies. An intrusion recently mapped to the southwest has visual
characteristics similar to the REE-enriched dykes. Analytical results for this
intrusion are pending. The delineation of such a high density of dykes with
associated intrusive complexes suggests that the potential for the discovery
of an economic rare earth element deposit is high.
    Rare earth and yttrium analyses performed by ALS Chemex, Vancouver,
Canada using lithium borate fusion with an acid dissolution with an ICP-MS
finish. K. Kirk Woodman P.Geo., Etruscan's Chief Project Geologist, is the
Qualified Person overseeing Etruscan's exploration programs in West Africa and
Namibia and has reviewed and approved this press release.

    About Etruscan Resources Inc.

    Etruscan Resources Inc. is a gold focused Canadian junior mining company
with dominant land positions in district scale gold belts covering more than
13,000 square kilometers in West Africa. Its principal mine development
projects include the Youga Gold Project in Burkina Faso (latest press release
dated October 8, 2008), the Agbaou Gold Project in Côte d'Ivoire (latest press
release dated February 21, 2008), and the Finkolo Gold Project in Mali (latest
press release dated July 2, 2008). Advanced and early stage exploration
projects are on-going in Burkina Faso, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana (see press
release dated June 10, 2008) and Namibia (see press release dated June 19,
2008). See press release dated May 6, 2008 for a comprehensive update of
explorations projects. Etruscan also has a 52.1% interest in Etruscan Diamonds
Limited which has a dominant land position in the Ventersdorp Diamond District
located in South Africa. (latest press release dated September 11, 2008). The
common shares of Etruscan are traded on the TSX Exchange under the symbol
"EET". More extensive information on Etruscan can be found on its home page at

    This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements which
involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may
cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be
materially different from any future results, performance or achievements
expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking
statements may include statements regarding exploration results and budgets,
mineral reserve and resource estimates, work programs, capital expenditures,
mine operating costs, production targets and timetables, future commercial
production, strategic plans, market price of precious metals or other
statements that are not statements of fact. Although the Company believes the
expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it
can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct.
Various factors that may affect future results include, but are not limited
to: fluctuations in market prices of precious metals; foreign currency
exchange fluctuations; risks relating to mining exploration and development
including reserve estimation and costs and timing of commercial production;
requirements for additional financing; political and regulatory risks, and
other risks and uncertainties described in the Company's annual information
form filed with the Canadian Securities regulators on SEDAR (
Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking


For further information:

For further information: Richard Gordon, Investor Relations,, (877) 465-3674, Fax (902) 832-6702

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