It may be time to re-examine the potential for rare earth elements (NYSEMKT:REE) in Arizona. The conventional wisdom is that we have only minor amounts in a few pegmatites. But Virginia McLemore from the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources may have dispelled that as a myth, with her talk at the Arizona Geological Society monthly dinner meeting on Tuesday.
Liberty Star's Newfound Potential
Liberty Star Uranium & Metals Corp (OTCQB: LBSR), a mineral exploration company engaged in the acquisition and exploration of mineral properties in Arizona and Alaska, could capitalize on these favorable trends after identifying a surprising presence of rare earth elements over a large area on its Hay Mountain project located in Arizona.
In three press releases, the company indicated that assays of soil samples showed the presence strong anomalies of 4 REEs including scandium, yttrium, lanthanum and cerium within a nine square mile anomaly. The main reason that the DOD was interested in the Bokan property of Ucore is that it contains 3 of the much less commonly found 'heavy' rare earths; Dysprosium, Terbium, and Yttrium. Liberty Star's Hay Mountain property contains one of these 3 elements, Yttrium, and with plans to assay the samples for the 13 additional REEs. The firm's land could prove to be even more valuable than once thought given the promising initial results.
Interestingly, a recent issue of Elements Magazine (ElementsMagazine.org) devoted an entire issue to Rare Earth Elements, with articles on 1) "Rare Earth Elements: Minerals, Mines, Magnets (and More); 2) Dynamics in the Global Market for Rare Earths; 3) Rare Earth Mineralization in Igneous Rocks: Sources and Processes; 4) Hydrothermal Mobilization of the Rare Earth Element: A Tale of "Ceria" and Yttria; 5) Diversity of Rare Earth Deposits: The Key Example of China and 6. Rare Earth Mining and Exploration in North America.To emphasize that, Jim Briscoe reminded us that an announcement by Liberty Star Uranium & Metals Corp. LBSR.OB libertystaruranium.com (August 13, 2012) described the company's Hay Mountain block of their Tombstone project in Cochise County, which consists of 57 unpatented federal lode mining claims in addition to Arizona State land leases (Mineral Exploration Permits, "MEPs"). They state that their "land position covers geologically, geophysically, geochemically indicated completely covered porphyry copper- moly-silver-gold, and rare earth element (REE) mineral center."
"Liberty Star has recently discovered a large intrusion indicated by an aerially extensive low flight level magnetic survey under and partially exposed in and around the Tombstone caldera. Mineralization is clearly associated with this intrusive body."
Could Arizona have a lot more REEs than we think? It's a possibility.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.