DEVELOPING THE RARE EARTH RESOURCES OF NEW MEXICO'S GALLINAS MOUNTAINS
Strategic Resources is a Canadian based company with a focus on developing the Rare Earth resources of the Gallinas Mountains situated in south-central New Mexico.The global economy is facing an unprecedented confluence of events that stands to re-shape the way people think and do business. The developed nations and the emerging nations are no longer on a path of divergence. In fact, the world is on a trajectory of convergence. Asian nations, India and many South American nations are now transforming rapidly into middle class, consumer oriented societies. As this process of convergence gains momentum, the resulting demand for commodity resources will remain robust.
A case in point are the Rare Elements (REEs) which comprise periodic table elements 57 through 71 along with element 39 - Yttrium. The particular configuration of electrons orbiting the nucleus of these REEs makes for powerful magnetic properties. Hence, the global magnet industry relies heavily on REEs. As the process of global convergence continues, the need to control greenhouse gas emissions will proceed in lock-step. Strategies to control such emissions are now evident in the form of solar energy solutions, hybrid cars and wind turbines. These strategies depend on the use of REE magnets. And therein lies both problem and opportunity. China currently sits on 48% of the world's known REE reserves from which comes something like 95% of global production. This is the "problem".Global dependence on one single nation for supply of critical materials is a recipe fraught with trouble as the sharp rise of REE prices in 2010 revealed. The "opportunity" is one of identifying new deposits of extractable REE ore in close proximity to North American markets so as to reduce reliance on China.
With this opportunity in mind, in 2009 Strategic Resources opted to focus its exploration efforts on the Gallinas Mountains of New Mexico. The Gallinas Mountains are not new. In 1915 the US Geological Society identified a trend of alkalic rocks extending from Alaska to Mexico. This trend of alkalic rock runs right through the State of New Mexico and right through the Gallinas Mountains. A more comprehensive look at this alkalic trend also shows that it hosts many of the Rare Earth projects in places like Alaska, British Columbia, Wyoming and California that investors are familiar with.
The Gallinas Mountains have been the subject of volcanic intrusive activity over geologic time which has resulted in mineralization that contains Fluorite along with various Rare Earth elements. The most attractive parts of the Gallinas Mountains are those areas where the volcanic intrusive activity has created explosive breccia zones. Following explosive brecciation, post-magmatic fenite fluids migrated upwards from the magma chamber. This process, called fenitization, strongly implies the presence of a body of rare-earth-bearing carbonatite at depth. In 1993 the US Bureau of Mines penned a report in which it stated "fenitization is one of the most characteristic features associated with carbonatites". This report went on to state that sizeable rare earth projects in various places around the world are all associated with fenitization.
The Gallinas Mountains are made further interesting by the negligible amounts of radioactive Thorium in the rocks. Many Rare Earth projects in North America have elevated levels of Thorium which will prove problematic for recovery and processing of flotation concentrates from planned mining operations.
A small preliminary drilling program was carried out in Q2, 2011 to assess the geology adjacent to some fault zones. A drilling program carried out in Q1 of 2012 focused specifically on one particular large brecciated zone. Results of this drilling program were very encouraging indeed.
Since this favorable drilling 2012, the journey has been a challenging one. Politics in Washington have affected everything from mining projects to pipeline approvals. Permit applications that were submitted to Government authorities in 2012 encountered many delays. The good news as of Q2 2014 is - these permit applications are now being addressed. The next round of drilling will serve to define and quantify the amount and nature of Rare Earth mineralization present in this particular brecciated zone.
January 12, 2015/ PDF