Endurance Gold Corporation (EDG -- TSX.V) is pleased to announce that this season's program at the Bandito Property, Yukon has identified a significant rare earth discovery with values up to 2.65% TREO+Y over 6 meters and 1.38% TREO+Y over 8 meters in the South Fenite AND a separate niobium-tantalum discovery with values of 1.3% Nb2O5 and 0.094% Ta2O5 hosted in coarse crystalline syenite.
Location of the most significant mineral prospects identified during the 2011 program can be viewed on the company website
"The results from the 2011 Bandito work program have achieved one of our key objectives of identifying a rare earth system with representative grades in excess of 1.0% TREO+Y" stated Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO, "In addition, we have identified the potential for discovery of a separate niobium-tantalum system hosted within a volumetrically large niobium enriched intrusive. Rare earth and niobium mineralization of significant tenor in samples collected over a three-square kilometer area is very encouraging and justifies further systematic exploration."
Rare Earth Discovery Trenches
Systematic trench sampling has been completed on the eastern extension of the South Fenite Target. Initial grab sample results of 2.235% and 1.256% TREO+Y from the area of this prospect were reported on September 8, 2011. Two trenches, separated by about 15 meters, have returned the following results:
South Fenite trenches
|northern||2.65% TREO+Y||Over 6 meters|
|Including 3.85% TREO+Y||Over 4 meters|
|southern||1.38% TREO+Y||Over 8 meters|
|Including 2.08% TREO+Y||Over 5 meters|
TREO+Y means total rare earth element oxides plus yttrium
The mineralization extends under talus cover along strike in both directions from the South Fenite trenches. Heavy rare earth oxide (HREO) percentages are 5.1% with average niobium values up to 350 ppm. Insufficient studies have been completed on these samples to identify the minerals which host the rare earths. Petrographic studies completed on other REE prospects hosted in fenite on the property have identified bastnasite and monazite.
The South Fenite trend is interpreted to be almost vertical, is intermittently exposed over east-west strike length of at least 1.1 kilometers and varies in width from 5 to 20 meters. The South Fenite falls within a much larger sediment-hosted alteration system that is three (3) kilometers in strike and about 500 meters in width hosted within Proterozoic-aged quartzite and clastic sediments (REE Alteration). The REE Alteration remains open to expansion along strike in both directions where it disappears under cover. This REE Alteration is located immediately adjacent to the contact with a nine square kilometer sized nepheline syenite intrusive.
The subparallel North Fenite trend is steeply dipping, has a mapped strike length of at least 1.1 kilometers, and is up to 160 meters at its widest exposure. On its northern edge, the North Fenite parallels the nepheline syenite intrusive but is separated from the intrusive by altered quartzite at least 50 meters in width. As reported on September 8, 2011 the best REE result received to date returned 2.558% TREO+Y over 0.5 meters associated with hematite-rich multiphase Fenite. Analytical results from sampling of other possible rare earth prospects on the North Fenite are still pending.
Niobium and Tantalum in Syenite
About 350 meters north east from the South Fenite REE discovery trench and hosted within the large nepheline syenite intrusive body, initial reconnaissance scale sampling has identified a significant niobium-tantalum prospect. The grab sample contained 1.3% Nb2O5, 0.094% Ta2O5.
The syenite outcrop was selected for sampling due to bedrock exposure associated with an elevated scintillometer response. The sample is pink to salmon coloured coarse grained potassium feldspar rich syenite. Within the sample, mafic clots up to 5 centimeters in size, possibly representing sodium-rich amphiboles, have been extensively altered and replaced by specular hematite, chlorite and other unidentifiable fine grained mafic minerals. This grab sample contains 0.068% TREO+Y.
In addition to this higher grade niobium-tantalum prospect, other peak values in syenite include 0.312% Nb2O5(grab), 0.243% Nb2O5(grab), and 0.26% Nb2O5over 1.0 meter.
Insufficient studies have been completed to identify the minerals which host the niobium-tantalum mineralization in this geological setting. Petrographic work on fenite-hosted prospects has identified ferrocolumbite and niobian rutile, as two of the niobium bearing minerals on the property.
The Proterozoic-aged nepheline syenite that hosts this prospect is mapped over an area of at least nine square kilometers and is sericite and iron-oxide (hematite) altered throughout. The syenite intrusive body is poorly exposed and primarily overlain by areas of tree and soil cover. Where observed, the nepheline syenite is variable in composition from fine to coarse grained to pegmatitic in character and nepheline to non-nepheline bearing. Near the southern intrusive contact fine grained mafic phases with accessory magnetite have been observed.
Other Niobium Prospects in Fenite
Elevated niobium is also common in the North and South Fenite Trends and fenite mapped south of Copper Pass in the area of copper and nickel mineralization. About thirty (30) samples returned values greater than 1000 ppm niobium (0.143% Nb2O5) with the six highest grab and chip samples assaying 0.873% Nb2O5, 0.615% Nb2O5, 0.429% Nb2O5 over 1.0 meter, 0.472% Nb2O5, 0.386% Nb2O5, and 0.372% Nb2O5. These fenite-hosted niobium prospects occur over a strike distance of 2.9 kilometers.
Equity Exploration Consultants Ltd (Equity) managed the summer 2011 rock and soil sampling program. Equity is a private, Canadian company which is focused on providing high quality mineral exploration services. Henry Awmack P.Eng (a qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101) and Dave Swanton of Equity managed the exploration program.
Additional Program Activities Update
The summer exploration program has resulted in the collection of 232 rock and chip samples and 1,464 soil samples. Results for the rock sampling of the nickel and copper prospects and trenches will be reported separately. Soil sample results are being compiled and an update from these results will also be reported separately. During the planned drill program, one drill hole was completed under the South Fenite trenches and intersected the northeastern contact of the South Fenite. Assays are pending on the drill core as well as additional rock and chip samples. Due to difficulties in accessing water late in the summer season, additional planned drill holes have been deferred.
Next Steps -- Rare Earth and Niobium (Tantalum) Exploration
Work to date indicates that the South and North Fenite Trend rare earth discoveries require additional trenching and drilling to evaluate the extent of this surface discovery.
Furthermore, a systematic rock and chip sampling program together with trenching and drilling is required to evaluate the spatial extent of the syenite-hosted niobium and tantalum mineralization in this large intrusive and alteration system.
Under the terms of the agreement with True North Gems Inc. ("TGX"), Endurance can earn an initial 51% joint venture interest in the Bandito property by completing a total of C$125,000 in cash payments by December 31, 2012 and also completing C$1,000,000 in exploration expenditures by December 31, 2013. Once Endurance earns its 51% interest, it has a further option to acquire an additional 24% interest (total 75%) by issuing TGX 200,000 shares of Endurance and by completing an additional C$1,000,000 in exploration expenditures prior to December 31, 2015. Endurance has exceeded its 2010 and 2011 work requirements.
Grab samples are selective by nature and are unlikely to represent average grades on the property or within the target areas. The average trench sample values reported in this release may not represent average REE grades over the entire South Fenite Trend. Fenite alteration is low-sulphide and multiphase with sodium and potassium alteration (albite and k-feldspar), sericite, altered sodium amphiboles, hematite, chlorite, ankerite, fluorite, tremolite-actinolite, biotite, monazite, zircon, rutile, and numerous other unidentified minerals.
All 2011 samples were analyzed at ALS Minerals Vancouver using the ME-MS81, and ME-AQ81. For ME-MS81, a prepared sample (0.200 g) is added to lithium metaborate flux (0.90 g), mixed well and fused in a furnace at 1000Â°C. The resulting melt is then cooled and dissolved in 100 mL of 4% HNO3 / 2% HCl solution. This solution is then analyzed by inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry. For REE analysis of high lanthanum, cerium (>10000pm) and praseodymium (>1000 ppm), pulps were reanalyzed by OG-REE ICP AES. For niobium analysis of values than exceeded 2500 ppm, pulps were reanalyzed by X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF). Heavy rare earths used in the HREO calculation include Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho Er, Tm, Yb, Lu, plus yttrium.
Robert T. Boyd, P.Geo., President, CEO and Director, is a qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101 and approved the technical content of this release.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release. This news release may contain forward looking statements based on assumptions and judgments of management regarding future events or results that may prove to be inaccurate as a result of factors beyond its control, and actual results may differ materially from the expected results.