VANCOUVER, June 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Radius Gold Inc. (TSX-V: RDU) is pleased to announce that it has been granted one highly prospective geothermal license in Guatemala and has applications for 6 other potential geothermal fields pending. The total area granted or under application is 200,700 hectares.
When Radius first entered Guatemala in 2001, its successful gold exploration programs were guided in part using the presence of hot springs as an indicator of potential gold-related hydrothermal activity. On at least one occasion Radius's drill programs were halted because of large quantities of hot water and steam escaping from active drill holes, indicative of very high geothermal gradients. With the increasing global emphasis on clean, renewable power sources, Radius has revisited its hot spring database for Guatemala and staked a number of active geothermal systems that may have potential as geothermal resources for power generation.
Power generation in Guatemala is currently comprised of hydroelectric power stations, steam turbines, gas turbines, diesel generators and geothermal power stations, with geothermal power contributing less than 3% of the total power generated. According to a recent study by the Argentine consultancy, Montamat, which evaluated electricity prices in 13 Latin American countries, prices in Guatemala are amongst the highest in Latin America at roughly $0.17/kwh, surpassed only by the Dominican Republic and Panama. At the same time, the Guatemalan government is forecasting that electric power demand is expected to reach a compounded annual growth rate over 8.0% to 2015. Guatemala must increase its installed capacity to meet the projected demand growth.
A study published in International Geothermal Development in 2003 noted that geothermal resources in Guatemala are estimated at 800 to 4,000 megawatts (MW) capacity, but most likely around 1,000MW. In 2003 the country's installed generating capacity was 1,700MW suggesting that geothermal energy could contribute significantly to securing the country's future power requirements. By 2007, Guatemala had succeeded in harnessing 46 MW of geothermal energy in the fields of Zunil and Amatitlan, both owned by the American geothermal technology company Ormat Technologies. Feasibility studies are being carried out on 3 other geothermal fields.
Radius intends to use its extensive knowledge of Guatemalan geology, gained from more than 10 years of mineral exploration in the country, to identify and acquire potential geothermal resources. At the same time, the Company is actively looking for potential joint venture partners with the necessary experience to investigate and develop its geothermal licenses.
David Cass, Radius's Vice-President of Exploration, is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, and is the Company's qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Cass is responsible for the accuracy of the technical information in this news release.
Radius has been exploring for gold in Latin America for nearly a decade, and has assembled interests in a portfolio of promising gold projects throughout the region, including carried stakes in two small-scale developing gold projects in Guatemala and Nicaragua. Radius also has two 100% owned exploration plays, the HB property in Guatemala and Sixty Mile property in the Yukon Territory - with drilling campaigns for 2010 in the planning stages.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD "Simon Ridgway" Simon Ridgway, President & CEO Investor relations: Ralph Rushton/Erin Ostrom Symbol: TSXV-RDU; OTCBB-RDUFF Shares Issued: 72.9-million
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
SOURCE Radius Gold Inc.