Award Winning Paper Given on the Chinuka Process and Research Update
SANTIAGO, Chile, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — White Mountain Titanium Corporation (“White Mountain” or the “Company”) (OTC Bulletin Board: WMTM – News) reports that Dr. Daniel Jewell, main post-Doctoral researcher from Chinuka, won the Best Paper Prize at Titanium 2012, Atlanta, Georgia for his paper “The Chinuka Process: Electroextraction-refining”. The Chinuka Process (the “Process”) was invented at the University of Cambridge in 2005 and allows impure metal oxides to be reduced and refined to high purity metals in a single process. A copy of Dr. Jewell’s paper and presentation has been posted to the Company’s web-site.
Since acquiring a sub-license in 2010, White Mountain has sponsored research on the Process for possible application to the Company’s Cerro Blanco titanium project in Chile. Initial work has focused on refining natural rutile concentrates derived from the Las Carolinas prospect through three simple steps:
- reacting the concentrate with carbon at 1,700 degrees Centigrade form oxycarbides;
- making these oxycarbides the anode in an electrolytic bath at around 800 degrees Centigrade; and
- ionizing and dissolving metals in the oxycarbide in the electrolytic bath according to their electrode potentials.
Once in the electrolytic bath, the metal ions again deposit in accordance with their electrode potentials with the result that the impurities either remain at the anode, or are retained in the electrolyte from which some evaporate. In this way, it is possible to reduce and electroextract-refine impure titanium concentrate to pure titanium and unlike carbo-chlorination and treatment in sulphuric acid, the particle size and calcium oxide content are immaterial.
An example of laboratory results using the Process on the Company’s Standard grade rutile concentrate is set out in the following table, “Composition of starting and end products after combined reduction and electroextraction-refining”:
Sample Al (wt%) Ca (wt%) Cr (wt%) Fe (wt%) Si (wt%) As received 0.232 0.782 0.350 0.660 1.540 Product 0.032 0.079 0.029 0.130 <0.001
The table illustrates the effectiveness of the Chinuka Process to handle and significantly reduce the impurities in the final sponge titanium product.
In addition to Standard grade concentrate, the Process has been successfully applied to the Company’s Fine and Ultra-fine concentrates as well as to combinations of the Company’s concentrates plus ilmenite, a less expensive form of titanium dioxide feedstock.
In 2013, research will continue to be conducted at Cambridge University, using a recently commissioned larger reactor, but the focus will shift to the Process’ possible application to other metal oxides that are capable of forming oxycarbides, including niobium, tantalum, uranium and rare earths. In addition to testing the Process on other oxide minerals, a portion of the tests will be performed on titanium ores and / or concentrates which are considered to have little if any economic value, as feedstock for paints and pigments, due either to particles size or the inherent impurities. Successful treatment of these low value ores and / or concentrates could allow their latent value to be realised. All research work will be undertaken at the University of Cambridge where an experienced team of academics and researchers has been assembled.
Commenting on these developments, Michael Kurtanjek, White Mountain’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “I am delighted with the progress that Chinuka has made at Cambridge University. Its work on treating Cerro Blanco rutile concentrate gives White Mountain several other commercial options to consider. It is particularly significant to note that the Chinuka Process is getting a lot of interest from corporate entities outside the Academic world. ”
About White Mountain Titanium Corporation
The Company holds mining concessions on the Cerro Blanco property currently consisting of 33 registered mining exploitation concessions and five mining exploration concessions in the process of being constituted, over approximately 8,225 hectares located approximately 39 kilometres west of the City of Vallenar in the Atacama, or Region III, geographic region of northern Chile. The Company’s principal objectives are to advance the Cerro Blanco project towards a final engineering feasibility, to secure off-take contracts for the planned potential rutile concentrate output, and to secure funding or other arrangements to place the project into production, if warranted. It would be the intention to sell rutile concentrate to titanium metal and pigment producers. Work also continues to investigate the potential viability of producing a feldspar co-product. The feldspar could find applications in the glass and ceramics industries.
The OTC BB has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and, therefore, involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors–The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) permits mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. We may use certain terms in our press releases and on our website, such as “reserves,” “resources,” “proven,” “probable,” “measured,” “indicated,” and “inferred,” that the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in our filings with the SEC. Whereas the terms “measured”, “indicated” and “inferred” resources are terms that are recognized and required by Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA”) pursuant to National Instrument 43-101, the SEC does not recognize them. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of mineral deposits in the “measured” and “indicated” resource categories will ever be converted into reserves. “Inferred” resources have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and it cannot be assumed that all or part of an “inferred” resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under CSA rules, estimates of “inferred resources” may not form the basis of feasibility or pre- feasibility studies and U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of an “inferred resource” exists, or is economically or legally mineable. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our annual report on Form 10K for the year ended December 31, 2011, File No. 333-129347, and in subsequent filings with the SEC. You can review and obtain copies of our filings from the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.
Contact: White Mountain Titanium Corporation Michael Kurtanjek, President Brian Flower, Chairman (56) 2 657-1800 (604) 408-2333
SOURCE White Mountain Titanium Corporation