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Auxico Resources Canada Inc
Symbol AUAG
Shares Issued 78,654,578
Close 2023-09-11 C$ 0.155
Market Cap C$ 12,191,460
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Auxico signs MOU to acquire 85% of Empresa Minera

2023-09-12 12:45 ET - News Release

Mr. Pierre Gauthier reports


Auxico Resources Canada Inc. has executed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to acquire 85-per-cent equity interest in Empresa Minera El Benton SRL, a company that holds the mining title and rights to the El Benton mine and adjacent Monte Verde concessions. The El Benton mine and Monte Verde properties, combined, represent approximately 739 hectares located in the province of Nuflo de Chavez, department of Santa Cruz in eastern Bolivia, 200 kilometres from the city of Santa Cruz.

The El Benton mine is a past-producing operation with all the necessary licences, which previously exported tantalum and niobium concentrates:

  • Sample MMV01, taken from exported commercial concentrates, yielded grades of 48.97 per cent niobium and 22.25 per cent tantalum.
  • A cumulative chip sampling campaign of 23 samples was executed over a strike length of one kilometre, with a grade up to 1.31 per cent lithium from a selected lepidolite-bearing sample.
  • Sample MMM01 underwent a series of metallurgical tests including magnetic and optical separation techniques which resulted in four different concentrates, and confirmed results of total rare earth oxide content (TREO) in excess of 54 per cent, including neodymium grade of 10.77 per cent, gadolinium grade of 4.68 per cent and dysprosium grade of 0.49 per cent.
    • Throughout the optical separation process, the total rare earth oxide content from sample MMM01 was increased from 17.58 per cent TREO to 54.42 per cent TREO.
    • The niobium content from sample MMM01 was increased from 18.68 per cent to a grade of 43.69 per cent, and tantalum content was increased from 8.01 per cent to a grade of 19.21 per cent.

Auxico's objective is to relaunch the mine for the production of commercial niobium and tantalum concentrates, to define the lithium potential of the property, and to undertake optimal sorting in order to create concentrates of elements required for the energetic transition.

Sample MMV01 was taken from concentrates exported to Germany in 2013 by Minera Monteverde, previous right holder to the El Benton mine, and results indicated a strong correlation with sample MMM01, taken from the El Benton property in 2021.

Auxico's licensed ultrasound technology, the ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAEx), is a patent-pending approach of pH-sweep (research conducted in collaboration with the research centre Coalia, Quebec) that eliminates uranium and thorium radioactivity from concentrates, and could be effective on the Bolivian concentrates. The UAEx is a greener and more effective means of separation compared with the solvent extraction standard, including the separation of non-desirable materials from concentrates.

"The UAEx enhances metal recoveries from ore at the industrial scale, with the current pilot working at a maximum capacity of roughly two and five tonnes of laterite and monazite ore per day, respectively, is a technology applicable at commercial scale," says Dr. Daria C. Boffito, Ing, PhD, Prof. Canada research chair in engineering process intensification and catalysis (EPIC), Polytechnique Montreal. "Metal production accounts for approximately 10 per cent of global GHG emissions, making of it one of the most urgent sectors to decarbonize. This technology, the UAEx, is a form of process intensification which gathers a pool of innovative approaches that improves process efficiency, and provides opportunities for feedstock substitution, energy transition, in particular for the electrification of the chemical industry, with benefits as follows: (1) energy savings in the range of 20 to 80 per cent; (2) capital and operational expenditures savings from 20 per cent to 80 per cent; (3) chemical inventory reductions from 10 to 1,000 times; and (4) a relevant improvement in yield and selectivity,: commented Dr. Boffito. Auxico is currently executing two research projects with Polytechnique Montreal, with regard to the extraction and recovery of critical minerals from ore tailings, and the continuous molecular recognition technology for selective rare earth elements separation.

A visit conducted by the company's qualified geologists to the El Benton mine resulted in 14 surface samples and the discovery of pegmatite structures which contained lithium over a distance of one kilometre. Some of the lithium contained in lepidolite boulders also indicated extremely high values of other critical minerals; a one-tonne rock mass fallen from wall structure contained massive lithium-rubidium-bearing lepidolite with grades of 1.92 to 2.02 kilograms/tonne of lithium, 8.3 to 9.6 kg/tonne of rubidium, 0.45 kg/tonne gallium, 0.89 kg/tonne cesium and 0.59 kg/tonne neodymium (sample reference No. S00357812, S00357813), and a tourmaline pegmatite with 0.16 kg/tonne scandium (sample reference No. S00357805). ICP (inductively coupled plasma) analysis conducted by Impact Global Solutions in Canada of outcrop samples taken from the El Benton mine includes grades of 1.31 per cent lithium, 6.76 per cent yttrium, 11.73 per cent molybdenum, 0.16 per cent dysprosium, 0.31 per cent neodymium, 0.36 per cent samarium, 0.11 per cent terbium and 0.59 per cent ytterbium.

Transaction details

The MOU has been executed with the legal representative of Empresa Minera El Benton, owner of the El Benton mine and with sole proprietorship rights to the Monte Verde concessions, registered under the Bolivian Autoridad Jurisdiccional Administrativa Minera (AJAM). The El Benton mine comprises nine mining claims, with mining registration 6-05-1500795-0130-21 and national environmental adequacy declaration 071102/02/DDA/1998/12. Monte Verde comprises 20 mining claims with mining registration 1001759 and national registration No. 711-03342. These concessions are located approximately 60 kilometres from the town of San Javier, with road access to the city of Santa Cruz (approximately 200 kilometres) which hosts an international airport.

The MOU entails a $40,000 (U.S.) initial payment, and a payment of $100,000 (U.S.) due on delivery of mining and environmental permits, which are currently being renewed. Auxico will retain 85-per-cent equity interest in the El Benton mine, including all applicable mining rights, titles, registrations and licences. Auxico will likewise retain 85 per cent of profit share under the format of a joint venture (15-per-cent profit share to the current property owner) for the exploitation and commercialization of the El Benton mine, and the same profit share joint venture for the exploitation and commercialization of the Monte Verde concessions, by providing the capital required to operate the properties, which includes the export and sales of tantalum, niobium, lithium and other critical mineral concentrates from the concessions.

A full scoping study prepared by Auxico entitled "Proposal for the construction of a critical minerals refining plant" dated Oct. 19, 2021, has been prepared in accordance with results from these properties.

Qualified person

Ricardo Sierra, BSc, a member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (MAusIMM 3078246), is a qualified person (QP) as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this news release. Mr. Sierra is an independent technical consultant to Auxico Resources Canada.

About Auxico Resources Canada Inc.

Auxico Resources Canada is a Canadian company that was founded in 2014 and based in Montreal, trading on the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE) under symbol AUAG and on the OTCQB Market under symbol AUXIF. Auxico is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties in Colombia, Brazil, Mexico and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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