i-minerals Begins Pilot Plant Production of High Purity Quartz Products
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – i-minerals inc. (TSX.V: IMA)(Pink Sheets: IMAHF) (the “Company”) has been advised by Mineral Research Laboratory at North Carolina State University that the pilot plant commissioned to manufacture quartz products is in operation. The objective of this pilot plant work is to make quartz products of different purities for testing in a variety of quartz consuming markets.
Over the past six years MRL has completed several phases of flotation- based metallurgical work on material from Kelly’s Basin, WBL Tailings and the sand fraction from the WBL Area of the Bovill Kaolin primary clay deposits successfully creating feldspar products through floating the feldspar and sinking the quartz. The current pilot plant will take the quartz “sunk” during prior metallurgical work and regrind and float it to create higher value quartz products. As noted in the Company’s press releases of July 28, 2011 and earlier, i-minerals can create a high purity quartz product (>99.95% SiO2) through multistage flotation.
Approximately 8000 lbs of raw quartz product from prior metallurgical work will be processed. This material will be ground to less than 50 mesh and processed through flotation. It is expected that a minimum of 1000 lbs of Quartz 1 product (1 float lower purity); 1500 lbs of Quartz 2 product (2 float medium high purity); and 300 lbs of Quartz 3 product (3 float high purity) will be produced. Earlier metallurgical work has returned the following results:
Product Purity (%SiO2) BK Quartz B - 30 mesh 99.730% BK Quartz 1 - 50 mesh 99.965% BK Quartz 2 - 50 mesh 99.970% --------------------- ------ BK Quartz 3 - 50 mesh 99.972% --------------------- ------
The Company’s marketing efforts have generated demand for quartz samples for testing and having samples of the various products readily available is beneficial to the marketing process. In particular, several customers both in North America and Asia have requested Quartz 2 and Quartz 3 samples for melt tests to see how the products react when heated to the liquid form. These samples can be quite large – as much as 50 lbs each. Satisfactory completion of the melt tests would indicate i-minerals quartz products could be used in high value applications and markets and have a positive impact on future revenue streams and therefore project economics.
Assuming the pilot plant runs smoothly it should take approximately 2 weeks to process the quartz stock piles. Subsequent fine grinding of some of the quartz products will also be performed to accommodate certain customer requirements. Samples would be sent to customers shortly thereafter, with melt test results made available to the Company in Q1 2012
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’ Helmer Bovill property, located in northwestern Idaho that hosts multiple high value industrial mineral deposits including high purity quartz (>99.95% SiO2) that can be produced through a standard flotation process, halloysite that has an industry leading combination of aspect ratio and lowest levels of trace elements and potassium feldspar that has some of the highest alkalis of k-spar products currently available. Halloysite is a unique tubular shaped alumina-silicate mineral often referred to as a halloysite nanotube which is being increasingly used in nanotechnology applications. Economic assessments of both the Kelly’s Basin feldspar-quartz deposit and the Bovill Kaolin Deposits are ongoing. While additional assessment work is required to fully assess the economic viability of the Bovill Kaolin Deposits, a January 2011 Preliminary Economic Assessment (the “PEA”) based upon limited, widely spaced drilling over large areas demonstrated robust economic metrics and indicated the Bovill Kaolin Deposits may represent the largest deposit of halloysite in North America.
Per: “Thomas M. Conway“
Thomas M. Conway,
President & CEO
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SOURCE i-minerals inc.