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    28 September, 2010
Rare earth elements found in Tete
 
Maputo, 28 Sept (AIM) - The Australian company Globe Metals and Mining on Tuesday announced the discovery of "significant potential for rare earth mineralization" at Mount Muambe in the western Mozambican province of Tete.

Rare earths are seventeen elements in the periodic table (scandium, yttrium and fifteen metals known collectively as lanthanides). The minerals identified at Mount Muambe are heavy rare earths - which are elements 63-71 in the periodic table (from europium to lutetium).

These elements have similar chemical properties, and are used in lasers, fluorescent lamps, magnets and x-ray machines. Yttrium is also used in high-temperature superconductors.

Mount Muambe is in Moatize district, about 60 kilometres south-east of Tete city, and quite close to the coal concessions operated by the Brazilian and Australian companies, Vale and Riversdale.

According to the statement from Globe Metals an analysis of high-grade fluorite rock chip samples removed for analysis in late 2009 showed "highly anomalous heavy rare earths". Of particular note was the presence of the high value rare earth dysprosium, with results from the samples of up to 168 parts per million (ppm).

Dysprosium is used in laser materials and in neutron-absorbing control rods in nuclear reactors. The compounds dysprosium iodide and dysprosium bromide are used in high intensity lighting.

Only about 100 tonnes of dysprosium are produced a year, mostly in China. Dysprosium prices have risen sevenfold since 2003, and by late 2009 the price was US$53 per pound.

The executive chairman of Globe Metals, Mark Sumich, cited in the release, said "We have been pleasantly surprised at the recently identified potential for heavy rare earths within the high-grade fluorite zone at Mount Muambe, in addition to the identification of other areas for potential rare earth mineralization".

Globe Metals intends to conduct further field work later this year, and Sumich said "We are looking forward to beginning our maiden drill programme at Mount Muambe in the coming weeks".
(AIM)
 
 
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