Agata Nickel Project Pilot Plant Commissioned, Operation Commenced
CALGARY, June 5, 2013 /CNW/ – TVI Pacific Inc. (TSX: TVI) (OTCQX: TVIPF) (“TVI” or the “Company”) announced today, that as a result of positive
bench-scale test work carried out at the Agata Nickel Processing
Project, it has commissioned and commenced operation of pilot-plant
testing which will further define the technological parameters to be
used in producing a Bankable Feasibility Study with the goal of
building a commercial processing plant.
The positive test work on nickel (Ni) laterite ore, from the Agata
nickel laterite deposit, confirms the Agata ore is highly amenable to
acid leaching with a high rate of nickel extraction achieved at a low
acid consumption rate. The process technology TVI is developing, and
which has produced these results, aims to achieve maximum nickel
recovery and low acid consumption which translates into increased metal
production and lower operating costs.
-- Extractions of 94% nickel achieved -- Agata ore highly amenable to acid leaching -- Low acid consumption rate of 650 kg/t ore -- More than 70 leach tests concluded to date -- TVI pilot plant testing expected to be completed during Q3 2013
“We are extremely pleased with the results achieved,” said Mr. Cliff
James, Chairman and CEO of TVI Pacific Inc. “The process being
developed could position the proposed Agata nickel processing plant
amongst the lower cost producers.”
The Agata Processing Project – a joint venture with Mindoro Resources
Ltd., is located in Agusan del Norte province, within the Surigao
mining region on the island of Mindanao, Philippines. The Surigao
region is a major nickel producing region providing ore to processing
plants in Australia, China, Korea and Japan.
Bench-Scale Test Work Yields Positive Results
Approximately one tonne of ore was sent to the Beijing General Research
Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (BGRIMM) for the purposes of
conducting bench-scale crushing, scrubbing, screening and leaching
tests to confirm the optimal circuit configuration and validate the
processing process identified by TVI.
A team of three TVI metallurgists were seconded to the BGRIMM team for
the duration of the test work campaign. TVI also setup a bench-scale
laboratory in Manila. All optimum conditions as identified in the
BGRIMM tests have been validated, with excellent reproducibility of
results between the TVI and BGRIMM tests.
To date, more than 70 leach tests have been conducted. These tests
conclusively illustrate that the Agata ore is highly amenable to acid
leaching. Overall extractions of 94% Ni has been obtained at a
relatively low acid consumption rate of 650 kg/t ore. This translates
to approximately 49 t acid/t Ni produced for ore grades of 1.5% Ni. The
acid utilisation efficiency is encouraging when compared to other
atmospheric acid leach processes.
BGRIMM Pilot Plant Established (China)
Approximately twelve tonnes of ore were sent to BGRIMM in order to
continuously operate a pilot plant that consists of, amongst others,
primary leaching (atmospheric) and secondary leaching (low pressure
autoclave). To date, all ore has been blended, crushed, screened and
milled. Leaching commenced on May 13, 2013 to test a high grade (1.5%
Ni) and a medium grade (1.3% Ni) ore.
TVI Pilot Plant (Philippines)
Pregnant leach solution (PLS) from the BGRIMM pilot plant will be
shipped to the Philippines and processed in the TVI downstream Ni
recovery pilot plant. This plant will be commissioned in June 2013 in
order to be operational by July 2013. The TVI pilot plant work is
expected to be completed during Q3 2013.
The process technology TVI is developing aims to achieve maximum nickel
(Ni) recovery at an operating cost that could position the Agata
process plant amongst the lower cost producers – while best
representing the requirement to contain capital costs of the project.
The process involves the treatment of higher Ni grade ore (>1.3% Ni).
Much of the high iron (Fe) grade limonite will be directly shipped as
part of a direct shipment of ore operation (DSO). Therefore, the ore
feed to the process plant is depleted of limonite. In addition, the
higher grade Ni is associated mainly with the saprolite ore (which
occurs beneath the limonite in the ore profile) – therefore, once the
higher grade ore is considered, the ratio of limonite:saprolite that
will be fed to the process plant is approximately 8% limonite:92%
The process consists of separating the ore into a high Fe, low magnesium
(Mg) fraction to feed the primary leaching stage and a low Fe, high Mg
fraction, to feed the secondary leaching stage. Leaching is conducted
in 2 stages to minimize acid consumption, as well as clean the pregnant
leach solution (PLS) of Fe.
PLS is recovered by a counter current decantation (CCD) circuit and then
further refined using ion exchange (IX), and finally precipitated and
filtered to produce a nickel hydroxide product (NHP) of 53% Ni content.
This NHP is a versatile product since it is a refined intermediate
product, and therefore, due to its purity, it is easily refined into Ni
metal by potential off-takers.
Key Process Information
-- Ore type: Ni grade >1.3%; 8% limonite, 92% saprolite -- Ore feed rate: 550,000 dtpa -- Leach Ni extraction: 94% -- Leach H2SO4 consumption: 650 kg/t ore -- Overall Ni recovery: 92% -- Ni product: NHP; 53% Ni; 7,000 - 7,500 t contained Ni pa.
Test Work Ore Selection
Approximately thirty tonnes of ore were mined from a variety of test
pits that cover the Agata ore body. Test pits were carefully selected
from the available drill hole data to accurately reflect the ore that
is expected to feed the process plant. Limonite and saprolite ore was
separately mined, blended and loaded into sealed drums to preserve ore
TVI and Mindoro Joint Venture
TVI and Mindoro Resources (TSXv:MIO) have signed four joint venture
agreements, previously announced on October 1, 2012, relating to the
Agata and Pan de Azucar mining projects located in the Philippines on
the islands of Mindanao and Panay, respectively. The joint ventures
present TVI with multiple growth opportunities for near-term and
medium-term cash flow generating potential. Under the agreements the
Company’s Philippine affiliate, TVI Resource Developments (Phils.) Inc.
(“TVIRD”) has the ability to earn up to a 60% interest and will act as
operator of the projects.
Mining Project Opportunities within the Agata Tenement
-- a near-term high iron (Fe) laterite direct shipping ore (DSO) operation -- a near-term limestone DSO operation -- a medium-term lime production facility -- a medium-term nickel processing plant project
Prior extensive pre-feasibility and engineering works have been
conducted on the Mindoro properties. These reports can be accessed on
Mindoro’s website at www.mindoro.com or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
TVI Pacific Inc. has filed an updated National Instrument 43-101
technical report on the Agata project on April 10, 2013. The National
Instrument 43-101 technical report is available on SEDAR and on TVI’s
Yulo Perez, Chief Operations Officer of TVI Resource Development
(Phils.), Inc. (TVIRD), Fellow AusIMM, is the qualified person under NI
43-101 who has approved the scientific and technical information in
this news release.
About TVI Pacific Inc.
TVI Pacific Inc. is a publicly-traded Canadian company that is focused
on the production, development, exploration and acquisition of resource
projects in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. TVI produces copper and
zinc concentrates from its Canatuan mine. TVI is a partner/operator in
several joint venture projects in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea
and also has an interest in an offshore Philippine oil property.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the
information contained herein.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains certain
forward-looking information (referred to herein as “forward-looking
statements”). Forward-looking statements are often, but not always,
identified by the use of words such as “anticipate”, “plan”, “intend”,
“estimate”, “scheduled”, “expect”, “may”, “will”, “should”, or similar
words suggesting future activities or outcomes. The forward-looking
statements set out in this news release include information relating to
interests that may be earned by TVIRD in the Agata and Pan de Azucar
joint ventures; opportunities for exploration, development and
commercialization of the Agata Mining Project (including the High Fe
and Limestone DSO/Lime Production Facility and the Agata Nickel
Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and
uncertainties that could cause actual events or outcomes to differ
materially from those anticipated or implied by such forward-looking
statements. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited
to: (A) results of further work in pursuing the conceptual planning
described in this news release not supporting current expectations as
to the opportunities outlined; (B) TVIRD not funding the necessary
expenditures at Agata or Pan de Azucar to advance the projects or earn
an interest under the joint venture agreements due to, among other
things (i) changes in TVIRD’s strategic priorities, due diligence
findings, changes in laws or regulations affecting mining operations in
the Philippines (including the profitability of such operations), and
other factors, (ii) changes in TVIRD budgets and (iii) limited
availability of funds; (C) a determination on the part of TVIRD not to
pursue projects contemplated by one or more of the joint venture
agreements noted above for technical, economic, legal or other reasons
(including, without limitation, a failure to obtain required permits or
other governmental or regulatory approvals); and (D) certain other
risks identified elsewhere in TVI’s public filings, including, without
limitation, those risk factors set forth at pp. 46-52 of TVI’s Annual
Information Form dated March 19, 2013. Accordingly, readers should
not place undue reliance upon the forward-looking statements contained
in this news release and such forward-looking statements should not be
interpreted or regarded as guarantees of future outcomes.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made
as of the date hereof and TVI does not undertake any obligation to
update publicly or to revise any of the included forward-looking
statements, except as required by applicable Canadian securities law.
The forward-looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified
by this cautionary statement.
SOURCE TVI Pacific Inc.