Peruvian discovery may hold ‘hidden pool’ of rare earths

Peruvian discovery may hold ‘hidden pool’ of rare earths

View up the valley at Capacsaya from the south at RioSol's rare earth project.

U.S.-based rare earth explorer RioSol and its Peruvian mining arm Compañía Minera Rio Sol said Tuesday studies carried out at its recently unveiled rare earth element and poly-metallic claim discovery in Peru have confirmed the site potentially holds a “hidden pool” of the coveted elements.

geological report completed in January, shows the 10-kilometer Capacscaya and adjacent claims, contain Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREOs) at 3% or greater within the granite and altered granite ore bodies.

According to geologist Mirian Mamani, who presented her portion of the report at a conference in Lima Tuesday, the finding proves there are significant quantities of high-range of Neodymium, Scandium, Lathanum, Cerium, Europium and Yttrium, as well as other LREEs and HREEs and their related oxides.

Peruvian discovery may hold ‘hidden pool’ of rare earths

Spectral image map of claim site. Primary claim in RioSol's project area are highlighted by iron and copper oxides. (Click on it to enlarge)

Rio Sol added there is now enough evidence to state that Capacscaya — located approximately 123 km northwest of Cusco — contains both light and heavy rare earth elements and metals, as well as copper, zinc, cobalt, aluminum, iron ore and other base metals. “It proves that the potential for rare earth elements exists outside of China and elsewhere in the world with significant opportunity for development of new production in Peru,” the company added in a statement.

RioSol, which is based in Portland, Oregon, has been testing the claim since 2012. It initially focused on base metals. In recent field explorations and assay results it discovered rare earths, and consequently carried out further testing.

The company believes that having a supply source in the Americas for commodities used today and in the future will be important for geographic diversity and commercial competition, as China currently accounts for 90% to 95% percent of global rare earth mine production.