EMC Receives Initial Report on Metallurgical Test-Work for Nyngan Scandium JV Project in NSW, Australia
Vancouver, British Columbia -- January 20, 2011 -- EMC Metals Corp. (the "Company" or "EMC") (TSX: EMC) is pleased to announce that it has received an independent metallurgical test-work report, titled, "Laboratory Study for the Recovery of Scandium from Laterite Ore" (the "Report"), outlining the results of a number of initial lab tests on Nyngan resource material, and estimated recoveries of scandium. The Report, commissioned by EMC, was independently prepared by Hazen Research, Inc., of Golden, Colorado, USA ("Hazen"), and is the first of three phases of test-work to be completed by Hazen.
Pursuant to an agreement with Jervois Mining Limited ("Jervois") (ASX: JRV), EMC has the right to earn a 50% joint venture interest on the Nyngan Scandium Project, located in New South Wales, Australia.
Highlights of this initial Phase-1 Report are as follows:
The tests involved conventional contained acid leach systems using mainly the limonite ore phase, in various temperature and pressure environments,
These tests all produced similar results, suggesting recoveries of up to 75%,
Secondary recovery techniques were not applied to the processed material, as this stage of test-work is focused on optimizing the initial process stages,
Valuable chemical and behavioural understanding was obtained from the tests, which will facilitate optimization of both primary and secondary recovery techniques,
No solution purification test work was carried out (or attempted) and no product grade scandium oxide was made (or attempted) from the test-work, and
Process assumptions include standard and accepted processes for applying ore preparation, leaching, solvent extraction and product preparation methodologies.
Discussion of Report Results:
EMC engaged Hazen in July 2010 to develop a three-part testing program to determine the most effective and economic method for extraction of scandium from Nyngan laterite resource material.
EMC provided Hazen with background information on the project. This included reports on mineralogical, laboratory, and pilot plant work completed by METCON Laboratories of Sydney Australia ("METCON"), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organization ("CSIRO") in Australia, and by other research work, proprietary to or sourced by Jervois or EMC.
The overall program encompassed three phases of work, as follows:
Review and duplicate previous work done by the CSIRO and METCON on various leaching systems, as well as tests applying leaching environments not specifically tested by others on Nyngan material,
Test various alternative modified processes and techniques to improve and optimize scandium recoveries, expected economics, and environmental outcomes, and
Test the improved process with a continuous, pilot test program using several tonnes of Nyngan resource material.
In addition to completion of Phase 1, Hazen also developed planning documents for the work intended for Phases 2 and 3. This entire work program is supported by a delivered sample of Nyngan scandium resource material.
Phase 1 tests were completed in November 2010, and Phase 2 planning resulted in the start of new work in January 2011. This test program will run concurrently with Phase 3 test work that is anticipated to start in February 2011. The overall objectives of the test-work program are to define and optimize a process or series of processes that achieve:
A minimum 80% scandium recovery from the Nyngan resource,
The most economical operating and capital cost, and
The most benign environmental impact.
This entire Hazen test-work program is scheduled for completion by June 2011, and will potentially offer improvements to the capital and operating cost figures derived from previously defined processes in the Roberts & Schaefer engineering report (see EMC press release dated July 28, 2010). These updated metallurgical test results are expected to be incorporated into a feasibility study (FS), which EMC plans to initiate in Q3 2011, and complete in Q1 2012.
Note that EMC considers the metallurgical test-work and research underway as proprietary knowledge. The Company does not intend to publish the full metallurgical reports or disclose more than general details of its findings and confirmation of progress towards the stated goals of the work, as it pursues the optimization of recoveries from the Nyngan resource.
Mr. George Putnam, CEO of EMC commented as follows:
"We are pleased to be fully underway with our met test-work programs, now that we have duplicated the prior work done by other groups on this resource. The Hazen Phase 1 findings give a solid scientific platform from which to seek processing improvements, by both optimizing costs and improving product recoveries. This Phase 1 work generated numerous ideas for improvement, while eliminating others in a useful prioritization of next steps."
About EMC Metals
EMC Metals is focused on application of its in-house and patented mineral recovery technologies to deliver value in specialty metal and rare earth projects. EMC's high priority development opportunity is the Nyngan Scandium Joint Venture with Jervois Mining Limited of Melbourne, Australia. The Nyngan Scandium Project has a National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 measured and indicated resource estimate of 12 million tonnes, grading 261ppm Sc, based on a cut-off grade of 100ppm Sc ("NI 43-101 Technical Report on Nyngan Scandium, Jervois Mining Limited, Nyngan, New South Wales, Australia", March 25, 2010). In July 2010, EMC released highlights of an independent engineering study prepared by Roberts & Schaefer Co. (now owned by KBR), estimating capital costs for a processing facility of US$56M, and estimating unit processing costs under US$300/kg for Sc2O3. The Company is currently doing metallurgical test-work on the Nyngan resource material, to define and refine flow sheet studies, recovery estimates and capital cost estimates for the project.
EMC also holds two tungsten assets; the Springer Tungsten property in Nevada, USA and the Fostung Tungsten project in Ontario, Canada. Both tungsten assets have NI 43-101 compliant resource estimates, and the full reports are available on the Company website and on SEDAR. The Springer tungsten asset is a fully permitted, established underground mine and milling facility with a 1,200tpd throughput capability to produce a high grade scheelite (WO3) concentrate product. The Springer mine and mill are not currently in operation, although recent tungsten price increases have made the asset both economic and attractive to re-start. The Company also holds the Carlin Vanadium property, near Carlin, Nevada, with a recently released NI 43-101 inferred resource estimate of 25.4 million tonnes, grading 0.5% V2O5, based on a cut-off grade of 0.30%, or 289 million lbs of total contained V2O5 ("NI 43-101 Technical Report on Resources, EMC Metals Corp., Carlin Vanadium Project, Carlin, Nevada", April 30, 2010).
Technical information in this news release has been reviewed by Gilles R. Dessureau, M.Sc. P.Geo a Qualified Person for the purposes of NI 43-101. Mr Dessureau is a Professional Geologist employed by EMC Metals.
No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein. This press release contains projections and forward-looking information that involve various risks and uncertainties regarding future events. Such forward-looking information can include without limitation statements based on current expectations involving a number of risks and uncertainties and are not guarantees of future performance. There are numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and EMC's plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information. Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. These and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking information are based on estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. Except as required by law, EMC assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change.