EMC Metals enters Agreement to Explore and Develop Australian Rare Earth Scandium Deposit
EMC Metals enters Agreement to Explore and Develop Australian Rare Earth Scandium Deposit
Vancouver, British Columbia, February 8th, 2010 - EMC Metals Corp. (TSX: EMC) is pleased to announce the formation of a Joint Venture with Jervois Mining Limited of Melbourne (Jervois), Victoria, Australia to develop Jervois' world class Nyngan Scandium deposit located in New South Wales, Australia.
"EMC's mandate for growth is to aggressively pursue opportunities in specialty and unusual metals. In December 2009 we acquired TTS Inc. and the services of its founder Willem Duyvesteyn, a leading expert in the development of technologies for the recovery of these metals." Said EMC's President Peter Bosse, "Signing an agreement only two months later to develop the world's only primary Scandium property proves EMC's total commitment to the rapid execution of its mandate and bodes well for future developments"
The Nyngan Deposit
The Nyngan Deposit is located approximately 500 km northwest of Sydney, Australia and is accessible via a 25km sealed road from the town of Nyngan. The property consists of part of exploration license EL 6009 and all of EL 6096 and covers over 9,000ha.
The Nyngan deposit is hosted within the lateritic zone of the Gilgai Intrusion, one of several Alaskan-type mafic and ultramafic bodies which intrude Cambrian-Ordovician metasediments collectively called the Girilambone Group. The laterite zone, locally up to 40m thick, is layered with hematitic clay at the surface followed by limonitic clay, saprolitic clay, weathered bedrock and finally fresh bedrock. The scandium mineralization is concentrated within the hematitic, limonitic, and saprolitic zones with values up to 350ppm Sc.
In the 1980s, 134 rotary air blast (RAB) holes (for 6779 meters) and two diamond drill holes (each 250 meters deep) were drilled in the area exploring several of these Alaskan-type pyroxenite bodies for platinum group. Between 1999 and 2001, two traverses of reverse circulation (RC) drill holes exploring for nickel were drilled across the Gilgai Intrusion. Jervois obtained the sample pulps from these RC holes and analyzed them for scandium; the results indicated there was a significant enrichment of Scandium in the Gilgai laterite.
In 2006, Jervois completed a 2,638 meter drill program consisting of 64 reverse circulation (RC) holes and 5 air core holes at the Gilgai Project. From this drilling, Douglas McKenna and Partners produced a JORC* compliant resource estimation for Jervois, which is outlined in Table 1 below.
Grade (ppm Sc)
Table 1: Nyngan JORC* Compliant Mineral Resource using 100ppm scandium cutoff
The information provided in this report that relates to Mineral Resources is based on information compiled by Mr. D.C. Pursell (MAusIMM) and Mr. D. Foster (MAusIMM). D.C. Pursell and D. Foster have sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which they are undertaking to qualify as Competent Persons as defined in the 2004 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserve'. DC Pursell and D Foster consent to the inclusion.
EMC Metals is currently carrying out the work required to reconcile the existing JORC resource with NI 43-101 standards.
"The Board of Jervois Mining Limited (JRV) regards this joint venture with EMC as a very significant event for JRV and its shareholders. The recent acquisition by EMC of TTS Inc. was critical to the decision to enter this joint venture. TTS and its founder, Willem Duyvesteyn, are both well known to JRV dating back to 2001." Mr. Duncan Pursell, Jervois' Managing Director added, "JRV is fully conversant with the TTS research work on nickel/cobalt recovery using 'heap leach' techniques and more recently, work on scandium recovery. These activities, in the Board's view, made the TTS parent company, EMC, the perfect 'fit' as a partner for JRV."
EMC has executed an Exploration Joint Venture Agreement with Jervois pursuant to which EMC will enter into a joint venture on the Nyngan property. EMC will be the manager of the joint venture.
Under the Agreement, EMC has paid the sum of CAD $300,000 into escrow to be released to Jervois upon satisfaction of certain conditions precedent, including verification of title to the Nyngan property and approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The Agreement requires EMC to incur exploration and metallurgical work of AUS $500,000 (CAD $460,000) within 180 business days of the conditions precedent being satisfied, or pay cash in lieu thereof. In the event that EMC wishes to continue the joint venture, EMC must deliver a bankable feasibility study within 480 business days of the conditions precedent being satisfied, failing which the Agreement will terminate.
Upon EMC delivering the bankable feasibility study to Jervois, EMC must pay to Jervois an additional AUS $1,300,000 plus GST at which time it will be granted a 50% interest in the joint venture. The Agreement provides for straight-line dilution, with interests diluted below 10% being converted into a 2% Net Smelter Returns Royalty.
Project Timeline Targets
EMC and Jervois have set the following targets:
Completion of a bankable feasibility study within 12 months after signing of the agreement;
Subject to financing, the design, engineering and construction of a 100 -- 200 ton per day commercial plant producing from 10 to 20 tons of Scandium oxide at 99.99% purity. Tonnages to be determined after completion of item #1. Estimated time frame for completion of #2 is 8-12 months;
Our initial target for mining will be a high grade area. In March 2008 Jervois' engineering staff designed a preliminary open pit to a 30 meter depth with an overburden ratio of 1.8:1, yielding 305,062 tons of ore at a grade of 350.4 grams/ton.
Mining and Processing
The Nyngan deposit is a near-surface (<65m depth) deposit amenable to open pit mining. Front-end loaders and trucks and/or conveyor belts will be used to transport the resource from the mine to the treatment facility. A treatment process, recovering over 80% of the Scandium, has been established and is presently being confirmed by Australia's prestigious CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization). It is EMC's intention to refine this process, building on a technology that its wholly owned subsidiary TTS had previously developed for recovery of Scandium from nickel solutions.
Scandium and its alloys, are presently used in the aerospace industry, sports equipment, laser research, specialty welding wire, electronics and high intensity halide lamps. The current use of scandium is severely restricted by its scarcity of reliable supply as there are no primary Scandium mines in production in the world.
It is anticipated that a significant demand for Scandium will be realized within the aluminum and fuel cell industries once a reliable supply of Scandium has been established. Scandium has some very remarkable qualities:
Aluminum-Scandium alloys are amongst the lightest and strongest in the world. If a steady supply of Scandium could be relied on, the above mentioned industries would use much larger quantities.
Scandium stabilized zirconia rather than Yttrium stabilized zirconia as an electrolyte for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) reduces the operating temperature of the fuel cell significantly, thereby providing a much longer life. SOFCs are expected to play a major role in the developing battery powered electric transportation industry (cars, trucks, trains, etc) as well as in stationary applications, using SOFCs as electricity generators in substitution of coal fired power plants or directly in the home.
Because of the possible enhanced application of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, interest in Scandium has increased significantly in the second half of 2009. Companies from the Silicon Valley, Japan and Austria have approached and/or visited Jervois during this period. One of the companies indicated a need for 50 tons of Scandium Oxide per annum in 2012/2013; another had a need for 30 tons per annum in the near future.
World Scandium Production
Present production figures for Scandium are hard to come by, but vary from 2 to 10 tons per year. Currently the main suppliers of Scandium are China, Russia and the Ukraine. There are no primary producers in these countries. The Scandium is recovered solely as byproducts from other process streams, mainly from uranium, tungsten, tin and titanium production.
Very little information is available in the public domain for Scandium prices. The most reliable data are available from the USGS, which has quoted a price of $1,400/kg for the last four years for a Sc2O3 product of 99.9% purity.
* JORC Code - Joint Ore Reserves Committee of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Mineral Council of Australia, as amended or supplemented.
1. Resource Calculation prepared by Douglas McKenna and Partners, for Jervois Mining Limited, Suite 12, 10 Jamieson St Cheltenham, 3192, Victoria, Australia. Resource Calculation signed off by Duncan Pursell (BSc, MAusIMM) and Derek Foster B. (Appl. Sc (Applied Geology), MAusIMM).
2. The resource calculation is based on a total of 2,638 meters of drilling in 69 drill holes, of which 64 holes were reverse circulation and 5 were air core.
The Gilgai laterite resource is covered by a minimum of 15 meters of Quaternary- aged alluvials.
The significant resource is not below 65m. The entire resource is amenable to open pit mining.
3. Assays for this program, by ALS Chemex, used the following methods: ME-ICP61s Up to 27 elements 4 acid digest ICPAES PGM - MS23 Pt, Pd, Au 30g FA ICP-MS
4. In-situ densities: Limonite 1.63, Saprolite 1.41.
5. Scandium resource was calculated by plan polygonal method.
6. QC checks on sampling and assaying quality are satisfactory.
7. The reported mineral resource estimate has been rounded to appropriate significant figures.
Technical information in this news release has been reviewed by Gilles R. Dessureau, M.Sc. P.Geo, a Qualified Person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101.
About EMC Metals
EMC Metals is focused on sustainable growth through the development and application of technology for specialty and exotic metals. Through successful business developments, EMC intends to utilize its patented technologies to further its efforts in maximizing opportunities in a number of specialty metals while also planning for future opportunities from its Carlin Vanadium Project and the Springer Tungsten Facility.
For additional information:
EMC Metals Corp.
Peter Bosse, President, or Investor Relations at (604) 648-4653 and firstname.lastname@example.org
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