Monday, January 24, 2011

A new mineral has been discovered with potential for yttrium and rare earth elements

I just enjoyed reading a story in the 1/23/11 edition of the Bangor Daily News about a new mineral discovery made by Jeffery Marsh a graduate student from the University of Maine and had to post on it.

Some Quotes form the story:

ORONO — Jeffrey Marsh was the first person in the world to lay eyes on menzerite-Y, a species of garnet.
Marsh, 33, of Oakland made the discovery in 2009 while working on his doctorate at the University of Maine.

Marsh is a native of San Diego, Calif., who earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in his home state. He collected the rock in which the new mineral was found in Ontario, Canada, along the southern edge of the Canadian Shield. Not until Marsh got the 1-inch square sample under a microscope did he make his discovery.

Although menzerite-Y is a garnet, it is not large or showy, according to Edward Grew, the research professor of earth science at UMaine who oversaw Marsh’s work. “The size of a new mineral has little bearing on its scientific significance,” Grew said in an e-mail. “Far more important than size is the mineral’s significance to science. Jeff's new mineral is particularly significant because many common garnets, including those found in Maine, contain some yttrium and rare earth elements. [They] are unusually abundant in Jeff's mineral and make it a new species.”

Link to Full Story

Congratulations Mr Marsh. This is great news and proves that not all of the earths secrets have been uncovered. I shall have to start paying more attention to garnets now. Recently I was working on a property in Newfoundland Canada that has a considerable amount of garnets spread over a fairly wide area. As a result today, I was searching for information on garnets and their potential and lo and behold up puts a story on this fresh new mineral discovery concerning a new type of garnet.

It is good to hear that the new mineral has enriched yttrium and other Rare Earth Elements. I watch for news about new deposit discoveries that may be important to the prospecting business,  this story is special and unique as it isn't every day that new minerals get discovered. Again Congratulations!

Happy Prospecting

Sunday, January 09, 2011

100 once Gold Nugget Going on Auction

This is the kind of thing that prospectors dream of!

And it is a dream come true for San Francisco businessman Jim Sanders whom just happens to have discovered a 100 once gold nugget while using a metal detector in an unmined ancient stream bed near the old Mother Lode mining camp of Washington when he stumbled on the nugget in February 2010.  

A 100-ounce nugget, is expected to fetch between $225,000 and $400,000 when it goes up for auction March 15 in Sacramento, Calif. While current gold prices would make the Washington Nugget worth roughly $130,000, Holabird expects a collector to pay well more because of its historical value. Gold closed at $1,368.90 an ounce Friday.  "It's worth more as a collectible," he said. "No one will be melting this thing. It's one of the most important California gold artifacts that exist."

Link to Full Story

Happy Prospecting !

Tune Into Rare Earth Metals

Just about everyone familiar with the mining and exploration industry is aware that Rare Earth Metals are the focus of increasing exploration effort in many parts of the world today. There have been numerous news stories on Rare Earth Metals (REM) covering issues such as their strategic importance, potential looming shortages, new discoveries, world production dominance by China, increasing prices and so forth. In fact nearly every day we see one or more news articles on the subject.

These minerals and metals are used in many modern devices and appliances. Hybird cars,Smart phones,  guided missiles, coloured televisions, ceramics, lasers, superconductors, high-tech magnets, medical diagnostic devices and numerous other applications all contain rare earth elements. The advancement of technologies is fueling  the demand for REM and there are indications that it continue to do so for some time into the future.

I think that as prospectors we could be well served if we were to include Rare Earths exploration into our efforts.

A recent news release by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA) sates "The burgeoning global markets and growing high-tech applications for rare earth elements provides Ontario with an opportunity to expand its mining - and manufacturing — sectors" and further on they say  "Worldwide demand for these elements is expected to outstrip supply by 40,000 t annually unless new sources are developed, the OMA says. The Ontario Mineral Deposit Inventory documents more than 200 known rare element and rare earth element mineral occurrences across the province". 

The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry says rare element and rare earth element minerals are among the non-traditional metals being targeted for exploration in Ontario. Areas with rare earth development potential in the province would include Bancroft, Elliot Lake, Hearst, Kenora, Marathon and Moosonee."

Link To OMA Full Story

Rare Earth Metals notes of interest 

A hybrid car contains about 20 kg of rare earth elements. Demand in 2010 was forecast at 150,000 t with longer range projections indicating a demand of 2 Mt for hybrid, electric and hydrogen vehicles by 2025. Future supply problems for these strategic elements are being compounded by China.  At the moment, it produces about 95% of global supply and has 37% of proven reserves. China recently announced it is cutting its rare earth exports by 35% in 2011, which follows hot on the heels of export reduction cuts in the second half of 2010.

Happy Prospecting