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FARMINGTON — The Navajo Transitional Energy Company has become part owner in a Texas business that is exploring future mining of heavy rare earths and other high-value elements and industrial minerals in an area southeast of El Paso.

NTEC announced on Aug. 5 that it will acquire 20 percent of shares in Texas Mineral Resources Corp.

Texas Mineral Resources Corp. holds two leases to explore and develop a 950-acre rare earth minerals project located at Round Top Mountain in Hudspeth County in Texas.

The acquisition will take place through a two-part process.

The first transaction cost approximately $1.84 million for 5,111,626 shares and closed on Aug. 1.

NTEC is in the process of acquiring 5,000,257 shares in a private transaction from an existing Texas Mineral Resources Corp. shareholder.

Clark Moseley, CEO of NTEC, said on Aug. 6 that no further details are available at this time since discussions for the additional shares are ongoing.

The company is a tribal enterprise of the Navajo Nation and is the owner of Navajo Mine.

This is the first time NTEC has acquired shares in an operation outside the Navajo Nation, the company release states.

"NTEC is able to make such investments based on the revenue it generates from operations," Moseley said in an email on Aug. 6.

A press release from Texas Mineral Resources Corp. stated that concurrent with the transaction, it increased membership on its board of directors from five to seven members and granted the right to NTEC to appoint two board members.

NTEC intends to nominate Moseley and its company Management Committee Vice Chairman, Peter Denetclaw, to the board, the release states.

Moseley said NTEC consulted with its management committee before submitting its nominees.

Texas Mineral Resources Corp. Chairman Anthony Marchese said in the release the business is pleased to welcome NTEC as a major shareholder and looks forward to benefiting from their expertise.

"NTEC management has done an outstanding job developing the economic, financial, social and cultural well-being of the Navajo people, the Navajo Nation and its future generations through the development of its energy portfolio and market," Marchese said.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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