APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz., Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Gryphon Resources Inc. ('Gryphon' or the 'Company') (OTC Bulletin Board: GRYO) announced today it entered a Letter of Intent for an option to purchase mineral exploration rights located in Pinal County, south-central Arizona, USA with potential for gold and copper-porphyry reserves.
President and CEO Alan Muller reported, "Yesterday we completed an extended negotiation to acquire exploration rights to the 560 acre 'Cruce Property' which is located approximately 40 miles north of Tucson, Arizona. This property fits into our overall exploration plan and should dovetail well with the development work we're getting in place for our lithium properties nearby. Additionally, Nick Barr, our newly appointed project manager has done drilling and exploration work at this site as recently as 2008."
To exercise the purchase option in the Cruce Property Letter of Intent Gryphon must, in staged increments, over three years: (i) pay the vendors an aggregate sum of US$265,000; (ii) incur an aggregate of at least US$335,000 of expenditures on the Cruce Property; and (iii) issue the vendors an aggregate of 2,600,000 restricted common shares of Gryphon. Additionally, the vendors will receive an NSR payment of 3%, subject to a minimum royalty payment of US$250,000 per year upon commencement of mineral production.
Mr. Muller continued, "We believe previous exploration supports our belief that the Cruce Property has gold potential and note that the potential for both gold and copper-porphyry is also indicated by the existence of the San Manuel-Kalamazoo copper deposit approximately 13 miles east; Asarco's huge Ray Complex some 28 miles north and its Silver Bell Mine about 37 miles west; and the extensive Pima District which begins less than 50 miles north."
Asarco describes its Ray Complex as consisting of two sites: The Ray Operations which is a 250,000 ton/day open pit mine with a 30,000 ton/day concentrator, a 103 million pound/year solvent extraction-electrowinning operation, and associated maintenance, warehouse and administrative facilities; and Asarco's Hayden Operations which consists of a 27,400 ton/day concentrator and a 720,000 ton/year copper smelter consisting of an oxygen flash furnace, converters, anode casting, oxygen plant, acid plant, and associated maintenance, warehouse and administrative facilities. Asarco's Silver Bell Mine operates four open-pits (North Silver Bell, El Tiro, West Oxide and East Oxide). Copper in these pits is extracted from ore utilizing either of two hydrometallurgical processes: dump leaching or rubblization. Each month 1,800,000 tons of ore and waste are mined, and 700,000 tons of ore is rubblized. The four open-pits and other plant facilities are situated on 19,000 acres. Mining affected areas of the facility total 3,900 acres. The current cathode production rate is 67 tons per day (source: www.asarco.com).
Comparatively, the San Manuel Copper Mine was a surface and underground mine based on an ore body discovered in 1879 and expanded on in 1942. The exploration drilling went on from 1943 to 1948 and was based on faulting of the original ore body which created two main segments, separated by an area of minor sulfides. The mineralization was a porphyry copper deposit and the mine was operated by Magma before being bought out by BHP Billiton, which ultimately closed it. Over 700,000,000 tons of ore were extracted.
Mr. Muller also commented, "With respect to our lithium project, investors may wish to know that the lithium battery market is already worth over US$4 billion annually. Although this figure is mostly derived from its widespread use in portable electronic devices, it's hybrid green cars powered by batteries that are really driving the lithium battery demand." Muller continued, "Approximately two dozen models of eco-automobiles are expected to be on the market by 2012. As these cars require 20-60 pounds of lithium oxide, it's this market that is creating a heightened demand for this new-age metal."
In the long-term, demand for lithium powered vehicles is expected to increase as much as fivefold within the next 5-7 years, according to many industry analysts. And some estimates suggest that as many as 250 million electric cars will be driven by the year 2020 -- the majority of which will be manufactured and driven in the emerging industrial countries of China, India and Brazil. Currently most of the world's lithium supplies come from a half-dozen countries, most notably three Latin American nations -- Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. The U.S. contributes as little as 3% of the world's supply. Industry experts have flagged this as a problem, because there are various technical and geopolitical hurdles in the major producing countries to ensuring the availability of a steady long- term supply of lithium for the US battery manufacturing and automotive industries.
The lack of a long-term supply of lithium has become a major concern for all major auto manufacturers, not just in the US but in all of the world's major markets. In North America, the major manufacturers have been very vocal about securing long term lithium supplies, especially as the domestic auto industry does not want to replace a dependency on foreign oil with one on foreign lithium. "The industry needs to know where the lithium is going to come from. Are these countries friendly to the Western World?", says Charles Wu, a spokesperson for Ford Research. Even President Obama has expressed serious concerns about future lithium supplies. In a speech last summer he declared: "Switching Middle Eastern oil for foreign batteries is not an option."
"Gryphon Resources is focused on finding a domestic lithium supply solution to fuel the demand from current and future automakers," commented Muller. "This goal forms a significant pillar in our business strategy."
Lithium is used for batteries, specialty glass, lubricants, pharmaceuticals and lithium alloys. Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries have become the rechargeable battery of choice in cell phones, computers, hybrid-electric cars and electric cars. Manufacturers from GM and Ford to Toyota and Mercedes-Benz have all announced plans to build Li-ion battery powered cars. Demand for lithium-powered vehicles is expected to increase fivefold by 2012. The domestic automotive industry must secure a lithium source to supply the next generation of hybrid-electric and electric vehicles. Over 60% of cell phones and 90% of laptops use lithium batteries. The worldwide market for lithium batteries is estimated at over US$4 billion per year.
About Gryphon Resources
Gryphon Resources Inc. trades on the OTC-BB and Pink Sheets under the symbol GRYO. The Company was incorporated in Nevada in 2006 and has been involved in mineral exploration activities since inception. In 2010, Gryphon acquired the rights to 11 exploration properties in south-eastern Arizona, USA and is currently developing exploration plans for these properties. On November 30, 2010, Gryphon added to its portfolio of exploration rights by entering the Cruce Property Letter of Intent. More information about Gryphon is available on our website: www.gryphonresourcesinc.com.
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Certain information contained in this press release, including any information as to our strategy, plans or future financial or operating performance and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of future performance, constitute "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The words "believe," "expect," "will," "anticipate," "contemplate," "target," "plan," "continue," "budget," "may," "intend," "estimate," "project" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
SOURCE Gryphon Resources Inc.