TVI Pacific Inc. Announces First Nickel Production from Pilot Plant
TSX: TVI OTCQX: TVIPF
CALGARY, March 17, 2014 /CNW/ – TVI Pacific Inc. (TSX:TVI) (OTCQX:TVIPF)
(“TVI” or “the Company“) and its Philippine operating affiliate, TVI Resource Development
(Phils.), Inc. (“TVIRD“), are pleased to announce the first nickel production from their pilot
plant at Intertek Minerals Philippines in Manila.
-- A Nickel Hydroxide Product (NHP) filter cake was produced from TVIRD's pilot plant on February 7th, 2014 with a 52% to 54% Ni grade. -- NHP impurities such as Fe, Ca and Mg are low, thereby resulting in a versatile refined intermediate nickel product that may be directly processed to nickel oxide or nickel metal with no further refining required. -- Prior to NHP production, 8,000L of Fe and Ni rich Pregnant Leach Solution ("PLS") was purified via TVIRD's continuous counter-current ion exchange ("IX") pilot plant, successfully validating the viability of this IX purification process as well as establishing all design parameters for full-scale plant design. -- IX Ni recovery from PLS to eluate was 99.3%.
As reported in the TVI news release of October 17(th), 2013, positive results were received from the pilot plant at the
Beijing General Research Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (“BGRIMM“), marking at that time another key step forward for the Agata North
project, located in the mining district of Agusan in northern
Mindanao. These tests were designed to confirm and optimize the
crushing, scrubbing, screening, milling, leaching and solution recovery
circuit configuration. In particular, the test work focused on
validating the leaching process developed by TVIRD. The BGRIMM pilot
plant highlighted the following:
-- Optimal ore blend and the crushability and scrub-ability of blended ore confirmed. -- Pre-leach thickener design parameters and sizing confirmed. -- Screen cut-size for optimal split of fresh ore to primary and secondary leach stages confirmed. -- Optimal leaching conditions for the Fe-rich primary leaching stage and the secondary leaching stage determined. -- Overall Ni leaching extraction of 94% achieved. -- Overall acid consumption of 650 kg acid/t ore achieved. -- Counter-current Decantation ("CCD") solution recovery thickener design parameters and sizing confirmed. 8,000L of PLS was recovered from this stage and shipped to TVIRD's pilot plant in Manila for further purification and NHP production. -- Washed residue neutralisation circuit configuration and lime consumption confirmed. -- Washed and neutralised residue filtration design parameters and sizing confirmed.
TVI announced also at that time that it had installed and commissioned a
continuously operating pilot plant at its metallurgical laboratory in
the Philippines, comprising Ni solution purification, Ni precipitation
to produce NHP containing slurry and NHP washing and filtration to
produce final NHP filter cake product (50-53% Ni).
8,000L of PLS was received at the TVIRD pilot plant from the BGRIMM
pilot plant comprising crushing, scrubbing, screening, milling,
leaching and solution recovery unit operations. The PLS was then
processed in the TVIRD pilot plant as follows:
-- All 8,000 L of PLS was purified and the Ni concentration was increased by using the continuous counter-current IX process developed by TVIRD. Ni recovery to eluate was 99.3%. -- The acid content of the IX eluate was then neutralized and the acid free eluate separated from the solid gypsum through a thickening stage and Ni then precipitated from this. After a 2nd precipitation stage, >99% of Ni in solution was precipitated. -- To ensure high product purity, the Ni product was harvested from the 1st Ni precipitation stage. Ni rich slurry from the 1st Ni precipitation stage was thickened and a portion of the thickener underflow stream recycled as seed to the feed of the 1st stage Ni precipitation, while the remainder was washed and filtered, thereby constituting the final NHP product. -- NHP filter cake was successfully produced February 7th, 2014 with a 52% to 54% Ni grade at the TVIRD pilot plant. Impurities such as Fe, Ca and Mg are low enough for the NHP to be considered a refined intermediate product. This implies that NHP may be converted to nickel oxide and nickel metal without the need for additional refining, thereby offering possible offtakers with a versatile product alternative.
In addition to the TVIRD pilot plant unit operations described above,
BGRIMM also produced a Mixed Hydroxide Product (“MHP“) containing an average of 36% nickel and testing has shown it is
possible to produce an MHP containing >40% Ni if a 2-stage
precipitation circuit is used. The successful testing now at the TVIRD
pilot plant and the production of NHP will allow a comparison of
processes and products to enable the selection of a final process route
as part of the Bankable Feasibility Study that is currently underway.
“The pilot tests confirm the viability of a two-stage atmospheric leach
process in producing NHP containing about 50% Ni or a MHP containing
some iron”, said Jake Foronda, Vice-President of Operations. The
executive also explained that TVIRD chose the hybrid atmospheric/low
pressure autoclave leaching process because it is more suitable to
saprolites typical of the Agata laterites and significantly lower in
required capital investment as compared to High Pressure Leaching (“HPAL“), which is more suitable for ore with high iron content.
The TVIRD pilot plant has already processed all of the 8,000L of PLS
received from BGRIMM. NHP produced will be characterised by a 3(rd) party facility, and a NHP specification sheet will be developed. NHP,
together with the specification sheet, will be sent to potential
offtakers for evaluation.
The final stage of pilot plant operation will comprise of treatment of
the barren solution from the IX plant to produce an effluent that is
acceptable for disposal as well as ecological tests for residues.
TVI Pacific Chairman, President & CEO, Cliff M. James, said this is
another significant milestone that has allowed us to successfully
validate both production and cost efficiencies of our process, adding
that the technical program is on track to provide metallurgical data
required to design the proposed full-scale pilot plant.
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 TVI’s
Philippine affiliate, 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; and -- 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 (“NI 43-101“) technical report on the Agata Project on April 10, 2013. The NI
43-101 technical report is available on SEDAR and on TVI’s website. In
addition, in a news release issued by TVI on September 10(th), 2013, TVI shared details of a NI 43-101 compliant Feasibility Study
indicating robust economics for a DSO operation of the high iron
laterite resources at the Agata Project.
Jake Foronda, Vice-President of Operations of TVIRD, Member AusIMM, is
the qualified person under NI 43-101 who has approved the scientific
and technical information in this news release.
Mr. Foronda is supported in his role by Mr. Vincent Smith, M.Sc.
Chemical Eng., Project Metallurgist, who has over 20 years of
experience in metallurgical process development, operations and design
across 50 mine sites encompassing 15 countries and was previously the
Group Technology Manager for ENK. In his role with ENK, Mr. Smith was
responsible for all aspects of ENK’s process technology development,
viz. bench and pilot scale testing, flow-sheet development and process
design for heap and atmospheric tank leaching of nickel laterite ore,
as well as downstream recovery and purification of nickel and cobalt
from the resulting pregnant leach solution. Additionally, Mr. Smith was
responsible for the process plant technology and capital costing
package that formed an integral part of ENK’s Bankable Feasibility
Study for the Acoje nickel laterite project in the Philippines.
TVI has completed Phase 1 of the Amazon Bay Joint Venture providing
exploration funding of A$2 million and has earned a 10% interest in the
Amazon Bay Mineral Sands Project (“AB“) located in Papua New Gunea (“PNG“). TVI first announced the signing of subscription agreements and
joint venture agreements with Foyson Resources Limited (“Foyson“) in a news release August 28(th), 2012, and currently holds 15.51% interest in Foyson, an Australian
Securities Exchange (“ASX“) listed issuer (ASX:FOY), in addition to its earned interest in AB.
The AB project includes an iron/vanadium/titanium-rich area and Foyson
has recently reported they are encouraged by the continued strong
government support in Papua New Guinea (“PNG“), as well as the overwhelming support of the local landowners.
Further also to the TVI news release of January 10(th), 2014, in which TVI announced it had completed a further closing of
various investment and financing transactions involving Prime Resource
Holdings, Inc. (“PRHI“), TVI continues to work toward the final close that will result in TVI
receiving total proceeds of US $10.650 million and US $11.850 million
for TVIRD and various subsidiaries, each before tax and related fees.
After giving effect to all transactions as outlined in TVI news
releases of December 11(th), 2013 and December 13(th), 2013, PRHI will hold approximately 5% of the total number of issued
and outstanding common shares of TVI and 68.42% of the total number of
outstanding voting shares of TVIRD, while TVI will continue to
indirectly hold 30.66% of the issued and outstanding shares of TVIRD,
its investment in shares of Mindoro Resources Ltd. and Foyson Resources
Limited, further earning rights in the Amazon Bay project (PNG); and
its investment in shares of TG World Energy Corp.
About TVI Pacific Inc.
TVI Pacific Inc. is a Canadian resource company focused on the
production, development, exploration and acquisition of resource
projects in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. TVI’s affiliate,
TVIRD, has to date produced copper and zinc concentrates from its
Canatuan mine and is advancing its Balabag Gold-Silver project and its
Agata Nickel DSO operation. TVI is a direct or indirect
participant/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.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
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
Processing Plant). This news release also includes forward-looking
statements respecting certain transactions provided for in definitive
agreements entered into with PRHI (the “Transactions”) and are based upon the terms of these definitive agreements.
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. With respect to the
Transactions, those risks and uncertainties include a failure to close
one or more of the Transactions on the terms outlined in the definitive
agreements entered into with PRHI due to the failure to satisfy one or
more conditions, such as conditions relating to the receipt of any
necessary corporate or regulatory approvals. 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.