CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/22/13 -- BACANORA MINERALS LTD. (TSX VENTURE: BCN) ("Bacanora" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that field work has commenced on the El Sauz and Fleur lithium concessions that form part of the Sonora Lithium Project in northern Mexico. The Company has provided Rare Earth Minerals PLC (AIM listed) with an option to earn up to a 49.9% interest in the two concessions by making cash payments to Bacanora and funding exploration (see news release dated February 14, 2013).
The first phase of exploration will consist of geological mapping and surface rock sampling focusing on the El Sauz concession, where sampling by Bacanora located lithium-bearing clays units that averaged 5,537 ppm Li (2.95% LCE(i)) over a true thickness of 4.5 metre sampled interval at one location. The objective of the program currently underway is to fully delineate the extent of the lithium-bearing sediments on the concessions and determine the lithium contents of exposed clay units. It is estimated that approximately 230 samples will be collected during this phase which will be completed by the end of March, with analytical results to follow in early April. The results of the program will be used to plan an extensive diamond drilling program to test the down dip potential of the lithium surface showings on the concessions. It is anticipated that drilling will commence in late April or early May. In conjunction with the drilling program geological mapping and rock sampling will be on going on the adjacent Fleur concession.
About the Sonora Lithium Project:
The Company's interests in El Sauz and Fleur concessions cover 3,411 hectares out of a total of 5,786 contiguous hectares that make up the Sonora Lithium Project owned by Bacanora.
Initial rock sampling and mapping of the Project by Bacanora located the lithium-bearing clay units within a sedimentary-volcanic sequence. Drilling by Bacanora in 2010 and 2011 located two lithium-bearing clay units (upper and lower) that average 41 and 22 m in thickness, respectively, and that are separated by an ignimbrite unit varying from 1 to 45 m in thickness. The sedimentary-volcanic sequence dips at approximately 20 degrees to the east and crops out along 3.5 km of strike length. The exposures are in erosional windows looking through overlying basalt that covers much of the area. The lithium-bearing clay minerals have been identified as hectorite and polylithionite.
Within the Project area on the La Ventana concession that is 100% owned by Bacanora and adjoins the ground under option to REM, NI 43-101 compliant inferred resources have been estimated for two clay units (referred to as the "La Ventana Lithium Deposit"). The inferred resources for the two clay units total 60 million tonnes averaging 3,000 ppm Li (equivalent to 1.6% lithium carbonate assuming 100% recovery and no process losses). Bacanora has used the inferred resources on La Ventana for a Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") of the concession (refer to Bacanora news release dated January 25, 2013). Highlights of the PEA for a potential lithium mining and production operation with an output of 35,000 tonnes battery grade lithium carbonate per annum over a 20 year open pit mine life suggest annual revenue of $US210 million for an Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") of 138%, with a 1.9 year pay back. Capital costs are estimated at $US114 million and average operating costs at $US1,958/tonne. Net present value ("NPV") of the Project, discounted at 8%, is $US848 million, assuming an average lithium carbonate price of $US6,000/tonne.
Management is pleased to have Rare Earth Minerals PLC as a partner in exploration and development of a part of the Sonora Lithium Project. The La Ventana Deposit and lithium showings on adjoining concessions are new lithium discoveries made by Bacanora's Vice-President of Exploration, Martin F. Vidal. The Project presents an exciting new opportunity in the lithium commodity space with world class potential. Development will be enhanced by the project's location in a mining friendly jurisdiction.
Lithium is the lightest of the alkali metals and has unique electrochemical properties that make it the element of choice for batteries of high energy storage capacity and other energy applications as well as a host of other industrial and health applications.
(i)LCE = lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) Equivalent: determined by multiplying Li value in percent by 5.324 to get an equivalent Li2CO3 value in percent. Use of LCE assumes 100% recovery and no process losses in conversion of Li to Li2CO3.
Carl G. Verley, P.Geo. is the Qualified Person pursuant to NI 43-101 and has reviewed of the technical contents of this news release.
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities nor shall there be any sale of securities in any state in the United States in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
Except for statements of historical fact, this news release contains certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities law. Forward-looking information is frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. In particular, forward-looking information in this press release includes, but is not limited to, the estimated future value of the La Ventana Lithium Project. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. We cannot guarantee future results, performance or achievements. Consequently, there is no representation that the actual results achieved will be the same, in whole or in part, as those set out in the forward-looking information.
Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking information. Some of the risks and other factors that could cause the results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information include, but are not limited to: commodity price volatility; general economic conditions in Canada, the United States, Mexico and globally; industry conditions, governmental regulation, including environmental regulation; unanticipated operating events or performance; failure to obtain industry partner and other third party consents and approvals, if and when required; the availability of capital on acceptable terms; the need to obtain required approvals from regulatory authorities; stock market volatility; competition for, among other things, capital, skilled personnel and supplies; changes in tax laws; and the other risk factors disclosed under our profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and within the body of the PEA. Readers are cautioned that this list of risk factors should not be construed as exhaustive.
The forward-looking information contained in this news release is expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. We undertake no duty to update any of the forward-looking information to conform such information to actual results or to changes in our expectations except as otherwise required by applicable securities legislation. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Bacanora Minerals Ltd.
President and Chief Executive Officer
(403) 237-6144 (FAX)
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