This week Cascadero was mentioned in an article discussing its cesium discovery at Taron. The article is authored by Ricardo Alonso, a highly regarded geologist from Salta Province, and the following link is the article in Spanish.
The germane part of the article has been translated below:
Cesium in the Puna Argentina
“This is the case of a recent announcement about the discovery of caesium, one of the chemical elements of the periodic table. The caesium is part of the alkaline elements together to lithium, sodium, potassium and rubidium. Next to these elements cesium has been mentioned as present in the brine of some Andean Salares. However, it is a minor metal which is obtained as a by-product in the treatment of other minerals. In the rocks of the crust its concentration does not exceed the seven parts per million. The most important source is the mineral group Pollucita of zeolites and lithium mica called Lepidolite. Among the characteristics of the caesium stresses that it is a soft metal, yellow, light, of very low melting point, very reactive to the point that you can burn in contact with the air and highly electropositive. Like other elements was predicted by the Russian Mendeleyev when he prepared his famous table of the chemical elements where it occupies the number 55. In 1860 it was discovered along with the rubidium, by the Germans Gustav R. Kirchoff and Robert W. Bunsen burner inventor, by spectral analysis of the total solid waste mineral water of Durkheim.
It was the first item that is identified by the spectral analysis. Because of its special physical and chemical characteristics of the caesium and its compounds, among the methyl, etc., are very important applications in the industry. Perhaps many have heard of the caesium atomic clock, the most accurate clocks known, that is only able to delay one second every 50 million years. Also of caesium isotopes used in medicine, especially in many of the treatments for cancer. Among other applications used to escintilometros or scintillation counters, photomultiplier, magnetometers, mass spectrometers, photovoltaic cells, bulbs of radio, night-vision optical thermo guided missiles, military infrared signals, ionic propulsion engines, ceramics and special glass, photocells, X-ray matches, purification of carbon dioxide, microchemistry, infrared changers of television. Another important use is in the oil industry for the cracking of oil. In addition, the compound known as Caesium formate is very important to prepare brines of drilling for wells of hydrocarbons of high pressure and high temperature. A few are known worldwide as commercial deposits including one in Canada (Tanco), another in Africa (Bikita, Zimbabwe) and one in China (Guangzhou, Jiangxi).
Prof Ricardo Alonso, Salta Argentina
In March of 2017, in the mining prospectors PDAC meeting held in Toronto (Canada), the discovery of caesium was reported in a place called Ochaqui, in the Quebrada de tharon, west of the salar de Pastos Grandes, in the puna salteña. The finding was made by geologists from the mining company Cascadero, a company with exploration activity in the region of the Puna since 2004.
Ochaqui is an old manganese mine which was exploited in the decades of 1960 and 1970. This deposit was formed by thermal waters mineralized zones with manganese that circulated through layers of gravel caused by old landslides that dragged rounded boulders of the surrounding mountains. The terraces pleistocena composed of gravel, sand and volcanic material, in part cemented by manganese solutions, came to form banks between 1 and 3 meters thick.
The manganese is precipitated as a filling of the gravels and Cascadero has identified at least a dozen minerals including oxides of manganese (coronadita, criptomelano romanechita hollandita, the arsenates of iron, potassium or calcium (farmacosiderita, yukonita), and silica in the form of chalcedony and opal cesiofero.
It is extremely interesting to note that the report mentioned two species would be the first appointments mineralogical literature known to Argentina. It is ludlockita, an iron and lead arsenate and wallkilldellita, a basic hydrated calcium arsenate and manganese.
Following is the abstract presented by Bruce Downing, an advisor to Cascadero, at the Prospectors & Developers Assn. of Canada Annual General Meeting:
Cesium (Cs) is a little known alkali element, the bulk of which is used in the oil well drilling and completion business but also as catalysts in plastics and petroleum refining, medical isotopes, photo-emissive devices, experimental magneto-hydrodynamic electricity generation, atomic clocks for telecommunications and GPS navigation systems, specialty glasses, ion-propulsion rocket motors, high-density alkaline batteries, and coatings for solar cells. As a dense medium, cesium formate is used in metallurgical testing and to separate DNA. It is also well known for medical applications and artificially produced radioactive isotopes used in treating various types of cancers.
It is difficult to price cesium chemicals because prices are volume sensitive and its predominant usage in oil well drilling is conducted on a rental basis with clients making restitution for losses. In addition, the two systematic producers, the Tanco pegmatite in Canada and the Bikita pegmatite in Zimbabwe are in privately held companies and do not report financial information to the public domain.
Cesium is won from the pegmatite minerals pollucite and lepidolite at Tanco and Bikita, and both minerals demand significant processing energy and acid costs. At last report the Tanco Mine was on restricted production after three falls of loose rock, and the Bikita Mine’s stockpiled ores are being depleted through processing and the recovery of Cs in the Peoples Republic of China. The cesium market is stressed accordingly.
The Taron cesium deposit in Salta Province, Argentina is an epithermal deposit; unique in that it has only found counterparts in Tibet and India. Cesium is enriched in these three locales in upwards of percent values, through geyser activity that was aided by microbial action.
Recognizing that the Taron deposit has significant areal (1.5 km2) extent and through drilling has shown persistence at depth, Cascadero Copper in 2015 elected to test enhanced metallurgical processes to recover the cesium. The Hydrometallurgical Department at the University of British Columbia (UBC) was retained and a patented process was developed that demonstrated +90% Cs recoveries from drill core samples.
AAlthough the process indicated an economic feasibility on what is expected to be run of mine material in the direct leach, Cascadero decided to upgrade the economics of the process by reducing the reagent requirements and accordingly, in conjunction with UBC and Bureau Veritas has undertaken to produce a Cs concentrate by scrubbing the rock to remove the cesium minerals that bind its conglomeratic substrate.
In addition to the already successful metallurgical work, further drilling is planned for early 2017 at Taron and with a documented resource the company expects to produce a pre-feasibility document within the year.
Cascadero Copper Corporation
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This news release was reviewed and approved by Dave Truman a director of Company and the Qualified Person for the work.
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