Doade Pesqueira Property: Potential and History
The project arose from the prior knowledge of the existence of an old tin mine, with shallow workings, in the area of Presqueiras in North-West Spain.
1857- Ricardo de Urulburru was the first to mention a belt of pegmatites 13 km long in this area. Work was often only superficially done on a single dyke by the local people.
1950-1960- Compania Estanifera de Galicia- a Spanish mining company started mining a large dyke in the north of the property for tin and these underground workings are still accessible. This mining operation probably ceased when the price of tin fell in the 1950's. Concentrates from this mine systematically contained significant amounts of columbo-tantalite, a dull black metallic ore from which the elements niobium, formerly known as 'columbium', and tantalum are extracted. It is also sometimes known as 'coltan'.
Consequently, the potentially exploitable minerals in the area are: cassiterite (the main tin ore mineral), columbo-tantalite (niobium and tantalum) and, as a possible by-product, feldspar, especially sodium feldspar, which is an important component of the pegmatite host rock which contains the two minerals previously mentioned, and, after the process of concentration (beneficiation), will remain as a final residue and which could be commercially marketed.
During the exploration work carried out by SOLID, chemical analysis of samples from certain zones of the permit found encouraging grades of lithium, which seem to correspond to the presence of various minerals containing this metal.
In the case of Doade-Presqueiras the reasons for selecting the project were essentially the following:
The known contents of tin and tantalum in the deposit were consistently higher than the limits that were being exploited in many mines in operation at the time of the proposal.
The geological and structural features of the deposit seemed to indicate that the mineralised zones could be much more extensive than those formerly exploited by open pit for tin, even if it meant the possibility of having to combine this type of mining with underground operations in other nearby areas, as is the case in some of the most important mines of these same substances in the world.
Advantages of the Property and the Deposit
Tantalum was seen to be a commodity which could have great industrial interest in the medium and long term, for technological reasons, particularly given its increasing application in electronics and telecommunications. A recent surge in the demand for Tantalum by the high technology sector in conjunction with reduced production from several of the major producers and sudden changes in the automotive industry to a lithium based power source has resulted in a shortened supply and demand situation. This shortfall has resulted in recent spot prices for tantalum pentoxide to rise as high as US $440 per pound.
Despite fluctuations, tantalum and lithium prices show a long term secular uptrend.
The deposit was located in an area without major environmental constraints. This remains the case today.
The deposit has a strategic advantage as it is located in Europe, which does not have many pegmatite deposits but increasing demand for Tantalum, Lithium and Tin.
We have positioned our company in a safe political environment in Spain which is a competitive advantage.
The possibilities offered by certain lithium minerals which are being exploited in other parts of the world merit special mention. Lithium is currently considered to be a metal with a great future, especially for its potential application to the manufacture of rechargeable batteries for electric cars and hybrids, but up to now its main uses are in the sectors of glass, ceramics and lubricants.