Culpeo Minerals discovers critical mineral rhenium at Lana Corina copper project

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By Lorna Nicholas - 
Culpeo Minerals ASX CPO critical mineral rhenium Lana Corina copper project Chile

Both the Australian and United States governments have identified rhenium as a critical mineral.


Culpeo Minerals’ (ASX: CPO) Lana Corina copper project in Chile is continuing to generate positive results, with latest assays returning high-grade molybdenum and “significant levels” of critical mineral rhenium.

Multi-element analysis of one hole from the recent phase one nine-hole drilling program at Lana Corina revealed 85m at 1,369 parts per million molybdenum and 0.77ppm rhenium had been encountered.

Culpeo noted that the US Geological Survey (USGS) has designated rhenium as a strategic metal, while the US military has identified it as critical.

“We recognised early on that Lana Corina is a high-grade copper-molybdenum system and as expected, the multi-element analysis of drill hole CMLCD003 has identified significant rhenium grades of up to 9.5ppm rhenium – associated with the high-grade molybdenum zone, which is hosted within a silica cupola deeper in the hole,” Culpeo managing director Max Tuesley said.

“With both the Australian and United States governments identifying rhenium as a critical mineral, these results indicate the potential that rhenium may add further value to the project.”

Mr Tuesley said Culpeo will undertake further multi-element analysis to fully understand the distribution of rhenium at Lana Corina.


Rhenium is considered a rare precious metal.

It has the third uppermost melting point of all the elements. It also has superior density and the highest boiling point, along with resistance to corrosion and deformation, and great hardness.

These characteristics make rhenium a unique and strategic commodity for applications that require resistance to extreme high temperatures.

Rhenium is currently used in jet engine turbine components, gas turbines and spacecraft shields.

“ enables engine operation at higher temperatures, which improves its performance and fuel consumption economy alike,” Mr Tuesley explained.

Another application for rhenium is a catalyst in producing high-octane gasoline in the petrochemical industry.

Other end uses include heating elements, electrical contacts, electrodes, electromagnets, vacuum, x-ray tubes, flashbulbs, metallic coatings, and rocket engine components.