Argex results of TiO(2) grade sensitivity analysis demonstrate improved project economics
-- Increased feedstock grade significantly increases TiO2output tonnage -- Increased feedstock grade significantly decreases opex per tonne of TiO2production
MONTREAL, June 5, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ – Argex Mining Inc. (“Argex”) (TSXV: RGX) (FSE: ASV) (OTCBB: ARGEF) is pleased to report the results of a TiO(2) grade sensitivity study. The objective of the study was to evaluate the
impact of different TiO(2) grades of ilmenite feedstock on the operational parameters of the CTL
hydrometallurgical process. The internal study was completed in
collaboration with BBA Inc. of Montreal, Quebec.
Three different raw material scenarios were considered for the
sensitivity analysis with TiO(2) grade ranging from 32.0% to 53.9% and Fe/Ti ratio ranging from 2.2 to
1.0. The results of the sensitivity analysis are reported in relative
percent terms compared to a reference scenario which is based on the
operational parameters for the production of TiO(2) pigment using a raw material similar in composition to the
mineralization outlined at Argex’s La Blache property (TiO(2) grade of 18.9% and Fe/Ti ratio of 3.9). The operational parameters
considered in the study include raw material input tonnage, TiO(2) pigment output tonnage, plant capital expenditures (capex), and plant
operational expenditures (opex) per tonne of TiO(2) produced. It was assumed for the purpose of the study that the selected
feedstock for each of the scenarios was purchased from a third-party
supplier, with the purchase and associated transportation costs not
factored into the study. Credits for Fe(2)O(3), V(2)O(5) or others by-products were also not taken into consideration for the
opex parameter of the sensitivity analysis.
Feedstock Scenarios Sensitivity vs. Base Case Scenario* Raw Opex Capex TiO2 Grade Fe/Ti Material TiO2 Output (per tonne (for one Ratio Input Tonnage of TiO2 industrial Tonnage produced) module) 32.0% 2.2 + 5% + 78% - 46% + 7% 47.0% 1.1 + 40% + 248% - 64% + 16% 53.9% 1.0 + 43% + 309% - 69% + 22% * Base case scenario considers raw material grading 18.9% TiO2 with Fe/Ti ratio of 3.9.
The sensitivity analysis is based on the production of TiO(2) pigment from a conceptual hydrometallurgical plant based on the CTL
process with capacity corresponding to the size of one industrial
module as it is envisioned. The production capacity of one industrial
module is defined by the size of the acid regeneration units, which was
fixed at 58,000 tonnes of Fe(2)O(3) per year and corresponds to two pyrohydrolysis units capable of
processing a total of 36 cubic meters per hour of iron chloride
solution. The capex of the hydrometallurgical plant was adjusted for
each scenario based on the equipment required to handle different
production levels of TiO(2) pigment. Operating cost assumptions are unchanged from the La Blache
PEA unless noted otherwise. Finishing and coating equipment capex and
opex were excluded from the analysis. The costs for electricity and
natural gas were set to $0.048 per kWh and $5.50 per million Btu,
Argex President and CEO, Roy Bonnell, commented on the results of the
sensitivity study. “The internal analysis, completed with BBA,
demonstrates improved project economics by using higher TiO(2) grade feedstock for the CTL process. These promising results,
demonstrate not only the important value-added that the acquisition of
the Lac BrÃ»lÃ© property represents, but also why we have initiated
preliminary testing of selected third-party ilmenite concentrates in
order to determine the optimal feedstock specifications to maximize the
profitability of the process.”
“The internal study shows that an increase in the TiO(2) grade of the feedstock significantly lowers the operating cost per unit
of TiO(2) produced,” said Enrico Di Cesare, COO and V-P Technology of Argex.
“With a similar capital investment, we could increase potential
revenues by more than three times and reduce our operating expenses per
tonne of TiO(2) produced by close to 70%. Furthermore, because of the fixed quantities
of iron that an industrial module can process due to equipment
constraints, results show that lower iron content in feedstock allows
the company to process a larger amount of raw material.”
About Argex Mining Inc.
ARGEX MINING INC. is a near-term producer of commodities that the world
needs: Titanium Dioxide, Iron and Vanadium Pentoxide. With a primary
goal of advancing rapidly towards production, Argex has adopted a
simple and low-risk strategy for the scale-up of its proprietary
process that allows it to produce high purity TiO(2) directly from run-of-mine material from its 100% owned deposit.
The process is running continuously at the mini-plant in Mississauga,
Ontario. The closed-loop process is environmentally friendly and
produces minimal inert tailings.
Additionally, the Company owns 100% of the Mouchalagane property, which
is a large Labrador Trough iron ore property that represents further
potential upside for the Argex shareholders.
Forward-Looking Statements and Disclaimer
This press release may contain forward-looking information within the
meaning of applicable securities laws. All information and statements
other than statements of historical facts contained in this press
release are forward-looking information. Such statements and
information may be identified by words such as “about”,
“approximately”, “may”, “believes”, “expects”, “will”, “intends”,
“should”, “plans”, “predicts”, “potential”, “projects”, “anticipates”,
“estimates”, “continues” or similar words or the negative thereof or
other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are based on
the best estimates available to Argex at this time and involve known
and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause
Argex’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially
different from any future results, performance or achievements
expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. A description
of the risks affecting Argex’s business and activities appears under
the heading “Risk Factors” in Argex’s Amended and Restated Annual
Information Form dated January 14, 2011 for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2009, which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. No assurance can be given that any events anticipated by the
forward-looking information in this press release will transpire or
occur, or if any of them do so, what benefits that Argex will derive
therefrom. In particular, no assurance can be given as to the future
financial performance of Argex. The forward-looking information
contained in this press release is made as of the date hereof and Argex
undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking
information to reflect new information, subsequent or otherwise, unless
required by applicable securities laws. The reader is warned against
placing undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider
(as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange)
accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
SOURCE ARGEX MINING INC.