ROUND MOUNTAIN, TEXAS, LACCOLITH CAN BE A RELIABLE SOURCE OF HREE FOR US INDUSTRY AND DEFENSE
The petrological classification of the Sierra Blanca laccoliths is that of highly differentiated topaz rhyolites. The aphanitic, intrusive rhyolite is strongly depleted in Ti, Fe, Mg and P, and enriched in Be, U, and HREE. QEMSCAN analysis at Hazen Research Inc has identified the primary REE bearing minerals in the Round Top deposit as Yttrofluorite (0.06 wt%), Bastnäsite (0.01 wt%), Xenotime (<0.01 wt%), and Monazite (<0.01 wt%). Yttrofluorite carries the majority of the Heavy Rare Earth Elements (HREE), and due to its relative ease of dissolution in sulfuric acid offers a distinct economic advantage over other less reactive HREE minerals. This is a unique mineralogy for HREE potential ore. Drilling was done and samples analysed for REE every 5 feet. The multielement chemical analyses are very consistent throughout the drill holes. Statistically, the coefficients of variance for the elements are very low. Magnitudes and ratios of HREEs down drill holes are presented, to document the uniformity of this intrusive igneous body.
Round Top has a drill measured resource of 1.3 to 1.8 billion tons with a concentration of 500 ppm total REEs. The REEs are not contained in large grains or in localized veins; instead they are uniformly distributed through the rhyolite body. Little Blanca nearby is larger, but of slightly lower grade HREE.