VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2011) - Artha Resources Corporation (TSX VENTURE:AHC) is pleased to announce that the company has continued to add to its large and strategic rare earth property portfolio in northern Argentina (Map 1) through the recent staking of 60,000 hectares of ground in Jasimampa area in the Sierra Norte de Córdoba of Argentina Santiago del Estero Province. The new property lies directly east of a number of known small rare earth deposits. This new project is considered highly prospective for rare earth mineralization related to carbonatites, plus hydrothermal precious and base metal mineralization. Target generation work is planned to begin as soon as possible.
Artha now controls over 1,500 km2 of properties in northern Argentina prospective for a variety of styles of rare earth mineralization, plus over 500 km2 of properties highly prospective for gold, silver and base metals. Very little modern exploration has ever been done in this new area, with historical records suggesting that the last serious exploration completed dates back to 1968. The project is well located in the province with good road access to the east of the properties (Map 2).
A research paper1 dated 2005 which focussed on the rare earth mineralization in the immediate vicintity, describes the area as follows;
The Jasimampa area in the Sierra Norte de Córdoba of Argentina contains light rare earth element (LREE:Th-Nb) mineralization associated with several stages of carbonates and widespread fenitization of marble, granite (496 ± 2.9 Ma), and alkaline and siliceous igneous comendite dikes (U/Pb zircon age of 390 Ma) derived from fractionation of oceanic island basalts. This is the third discovery of LREE mineralization in Argentina and marks a new alkaline intracontinental magmatic event of Devonian age.
... Subsequent hydrothermal stages with carbonates, hematite, pyrolusite monazite, and subordinate celestine and barite caused alteration of marble that was accompanied by an increase in absolute REE abundance, up to 15.45 wt percent, and high Sr (10.5 wt %), Th (4,390 ppm), and Ba (1.8 wt %).
Alteration and mineralization at Jasimampa are the result of late-stage carbonatitic magma fractionation and fluid exsolution. This is indicated by the strongly alkaline character of early alteration, the composition of the hydrothermal carbonates, apatite, and LREE-Sr- and Ba-rich minerals, the chondrite-normalized REE patterns showing strong LREE enrichment without an Eu anomaly, and the replacement of marble by assemblages with very high Ba, Th, LREE, and Sr, and strong K, Zr, and Ti depletions. The alteration style and mineralization at Jasimampa are similar to the giant Fe-LREE-Nb deposit Bayan Obo (the world's largest deposit and producer of rare earth elements, located in Inner Mongolia) and other hydrothermal LREE deposits hosted in carbonatites of China.
The Bayan Obo Fe-REE-Nb deposit is the world's largest rare earth element (REE) resource with estimated reserves of up to 1500 Mt of iron ore (35% wt Fe), 48 Mt REE (6% wt RE 2 O 3 ) and 1 Mt Nb (0.13% Nb). The Bayan Obo Mine produced 55,300 tons of RE 2 O 3 in 2005, accounting for 47% of the total rare earth production of China and 45% of that of the world (in 2006)2.
Artha will provide a detailed update on its exploration programs in the coming week.
1Franchini. M. et al , 200. Na-Fe-Ca Alteration and LREE (Th-Nb) Mineralization in Marble and Granitoids of Sierra de Sumampa, Santiago del Estero, Argentina. ECONOMIC GEOLOGY, v. 100, p. 733-764.
2Chengyu Wu, Bayan Obo Controversy: Carbonatites versus Iron Oxide-Cu-Au-(REE-U). RESOURCE GEOLOGY Vol. 58, No. 4: 348 – 354.
Charles Straw, B.Sc., is the qualified person under NI 43-101 responsible for the technical information in this news release.
Artha Resources is a mineral exploration company lead by a team of mining industry professionals with a proven track record in project generation, exploration, mining and finance. One of the Company's principle exploration projects adjoins Silver Standard's Pirquitas Mine, one of the largest primary silver mines in the world. Artha is one of the largest mineral explorers in the region with over 1,500 square km of properties highly prospective for silver, gold, base metals and rare earths.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors,
To view Map 1 please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Arthamap1.pdf
To view Map 2 please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Arthamap2.pdf
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Artha Resources Corporation
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