i-minerals Begins Drilling of Bovill Kaolin Deposits to Upgrade Halloysite Resource
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – i-minerals inc. (TSX.V: IMA) (PINK SHEETS: IMAHF) (the “Company”) announces that further to the Company’s press release of December 1, 2010, wherein it announced the calculation of an inferred resource together with the results of a Preliminary Economic Analysis (the “PEA”) on the Company’s Bovill Kaolin deposit, in-fill drilling has commenced with the objective of upgrading portions of the inferred resource to an indicated resource. As noted in the December 1, 2010, press release, previous drilling had resulted in an inferred resource contained of 38.4 million tons of primary clay in four areas: WBL, Middle Ridge, Kelly’s Hump and Scablands. The current drill program will focus on drilling the WBL and Middle Ridge areas at 200-foot centers such that the primary clay contained in these deposits may be upgraded to an indicated resource. SRK Engineering (USA) inc. has provided collar locations for the 66 drill holes (21 holes at WBL and 45 holes at Middle Ridge) required to upgrade both deposits. The PEA contemplated the primary clays would be mined at a rate of about 900 ton per day. This mining rate, if applied to the inferred resource of 8.9 million tons as estimated by SRK for the WBL and the Middle Ridge areas only, would support a minimum of 28 years of mining activity.
Over the past 6 months the Company has made substantial progress in optimizing a simple metallurgical separation of the kaolin and the halloysite such that the concentrations of halloysite and kaolinite can be estimated in a more timely fashion. Material balances are then calculated and the kaolinite and halloysite samples photographed at the University of Idaho using a high powered Scanning Electromagnetic Microscope to confirm the success of the separation. Over 400 samples from historic drill holes have been processed to separate the clay fraction. Over half these samples will be tested for halloysite/kaolinite contents. This testing will allow the identification of halloysite-rich sections and the calculation of halloysite and kaolinite resources. This drilling and testing will also calculate resources for quartz and K-feldspar.. Halloysite content varies both from hole to hole as well as within a given hole. Halloysite content is estimated to range from trace levels up as high as 13%.
“Now that we have defined a process to accurately estimate our halloysite vs. kaolinite content in a comparatively timely fashion we can confidently advance the primary clay deposits that comprise our Bovill Kaolin Project,” stated Thomas Conway, President and CEO of i-minerals inc. “Work completed to date at Ginn Mineral Research and Durtec indicates we have a premium quality halloysite with a better aspect ratio (ratio of length to diameter of the tube) and lower levels of trace elements when compared to halloysite deposits from around the world, and at the end of the resource calculation we will have a strong estimate of how many tons of this premium halloysite product are contained within the WBL and Middle Ridge portions of the Bovill Kaolin Project.”
A. Lamar Long, CPG, is a qualified person (“QP”) for i-minerals inc. and has reviewed and approved the contents of this release.
About i-minerals inc.
i-minerals holds ten minerals leases in northwestern Idaho that hosts Kelly’s Basin feldspar-quartz deposit that is the subject of an ongoing feasibility study. High purity quartz (>99.95% SiO2) can be produced through a standard flotation process. Preliminary exploration work on occurrences of primary clay deposits has identified variable concentrations of kaolinite, halloysite, quartz and feldspar. The Company commissioned SRK to complete and initial assessment of the primary clay deposits that comprise the Bovill Kaolin Deposits through a Preliminary Economic Assessment (the “PEA”) which is based upon limited, widely spaced drilling over large areas. While additional assessment work is required to fully assess the economic viability of the Bovill Kaolin Deposits, the PEA demonstrated robust economic metrics and indicated the Bovill Kaolin Deposits may represent the largest deposit of halloysite in North America. Halloysite is a unique tubular shaped alumina-silicate mineral often referred to as a halloysite nanotube which is being increasingly used in nanotechnology applications.
Per: “Thomas M. Conway“
Thomas M. Conway,
President & CEO
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SOURCE i-minerals inc.