Marifil Mines Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : MFM
February 25, 2009 09:00 ET
Marifil Mines Acquires Large Sulphur Target
SPOKANE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - Feb. 25, 2009) - Marifil Mines Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:MFM) ("Marifil" or "the Company") has recently staked an 18,000 hectare sulphur target in the Neuquen Sedimentary Basin, Neuquen Province, Argentina.
Mr. John Hite, President of Marifil comments, "During the past six months sulphur prices have fallen from a high of over $700 per ton to about $50 per ton. This fall in prices is in line with those of most other commodities. Nevertheless, people still have to eat and the maturing countries of South America offer huge, growing markets for fertilizers. Argentina and Chile will also require large amounts of sulphur for acid to treat oxide copper deposits. For these reasons we believe that Codihue offers a lucrative target of opportunity for future development."
This acquisition is an outgrowth of Marifil's highly successful Neuquen Basin potash program and involves much the same sedimentary evaporite formations. Geologic features indicative of a very large subsurface, stratabound biogenic sulphur deposit were recognized in the Codihue area. Marifil's pioneering work found widespread sedimentary rock outcrops at Codihue that strongly resemble those of the Mishraq sulphur deposit in Iraq. Mishraq is the largest known biogenic sulphur deposit in the world, originally containing about 250 million tons of sulphur.
Surface evidence for an underlying sulphur deposit target at Codihue is very strong, and includes a gypsum horizon more than 200 meters thick projecting into the target area, a large collapsed anticlinal structure with karst-collapse features, deep-seated fractures, sulphurous springs, and outcrops of biogenetically altered evaporates resulting in porous beds of biocalcite. All evidence indicates that the gypsum is replaced by limestone.
Biogenic sulphur deposits occur where hydrocarbons react with overlying gypsum deposits in the presence of anaerobic bacteria to reduce the sulphate ions of gypsum to polysulphides and/or hydrogen sulphide gas. The sulphides and hydrogen sulphide gas are oxidized to native sulphur in an anaerobic (oxygen free) environment.
This process results in a 40% volume reduction of the gypsum as it is transformed into beds of biocalcite, or bioepigenetic limestone. The resulting loss of volume creates karsting and collapse features.
Biogenic sulphur deposits are amenable to solvent extraction by the Frasch process whereby hot water plus compressed air are forced down a triple tubed well and molten sulphur is lifted to the surface. The liquid sulphur can be shipped directly to end users. Sulphur's largest use is in fertilizer but demand for sulphur to make sulphuric acid for leaching oxide copper deposits and uranium is a large and growing market. Argentina does not produce significant sulphur and Chile, Peru and Brazil are net importers.
For further information on the Company and its projects, please refer to Marifil's website: www.marifilmines.com.
This press release has been reviewed and approved by John Hite, President of Marifil Mines Ltd. and by Richard Walters, Vice President under whose directions the exploration program is being carried out. Mr. Hite and Mr. Walters are Qualified Persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
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