EMC Receives Final Report on Pilot Plant Test-Work for Nyngan Scandium JV Project in NSW, Australia
Reno, Nevada -- January 19, 2012 - EMC Metals Corp. (the "Company" or "EMC") (TSX: EMC) is pleased to announce that it has received an independent metallurgical test-work report, titled "Purification of Scandium Extracted from Laterite Ore" (the "Report"), outlining the results of a number of pilot-scale tests on Nyngan resource material, and estimated recoveries and grades of scandium oxide product. The Report, commissioned by EMC, was independently prepared by Hazen Research, Inc., of Golden, Colorado, USA ("Hazen"), and is the final in a series of three phases of semi-continuous pilot plant scale test-work completed by Hazen during 2011, finalized in late November.
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 the 2011 Hazen semi-continuous pilot plant test-work are as follows:
Results of conventional contained sulfuric acid bake and water leach systems, at atmospheric pressure, demonstrated scandium recoveries averaging 75%,
Results of conventional solvent extraction ("SX") on the pregnant leach solution, demonstrated scandium recoveries exceeding 99%,
Results on final stage precipitation of scandium oxide, focussed on highest combined purity and recovery, demonstrated scandium recoveries of 97.5%, at purity levels of 97.5% Sc2O3,
Overall recovery results were 70% to 80%, based on ore type (limonite or saprolite), and
All process assumptions were based on standard and accepted techniques for ore preparation, leaching, solvent extraction and final product preparation.
The table below presents the detail of the various stages of process results, recoveries and grades:
The Hazen semi-continuous pilot plant test-work program for Nyngan resource processing was based on two previous metallurgical testing programs, specifically
Results from work done by the CSIRO (Melbourne, Australia) in 2008-2010 and tests done at METCON Laboratories (Sydney, Australia) from 2006 to 2010, completed for our partner Jervois Mining Limited (Melbourne, Australia -- ASX:JRV), and
Results from bench-scale test work previously done by Hazen in 2010 -2011.
Most of this work focused on acid bake and leaching techniques, along with conventional solvent extraction techniques. Very little work was done on production techniques for final precipitation and finish of scandium oxide. The overall recovery results from this various baseline, bench scale work was not appreciably different, although a great deal was learned over the period about the process refinements required to arrive at the best results, specifically grade and recovery trade-offs that come from different techniques and parameters.
The Hazen semi-continuous pilot plant work was commissioned in Q1 2011, and was intended to demonstrate the viability of the assorted bench scale work and results at larger scale, to better understand and improve on those lab results, to confirm equipment configurations for plant design, and to complete the understanding on the final precipitation step to product grade material, as to grade and recoveries.
The resource material utilized in the Hazen program was sourced from Nyngan project Aircore and Reverse Circulation ("RC") drill holes, and included separate saprolite (371 kg) and limonite (741 kg) material samples, bagged at the time of drilling, identified, and preserved for future project test-work programs.
EMC has previously publically indicated a target overall recovery for scandium of 80%. That overall recovery level was achieved in Nyngan's saprolite material, but not in the limonite material. Achieved recoveries, weighted for scandium content differences in the various materials, was +72%. These recoveries do not reflect any number of secondary recovery techniques for the residue material (+100 ppm Sc) or the scandium remaining in the SX and precipitation circuits---these are single pass results. Additional work with other research and process development groups suggests secondary recoveries in each area could be significant, particularly for the acid bake residue material. Preliminary bench scale results with other groups indicate that over 60% of the scandium retained in the acid bake tails can be dissolved during subsequent processing, taking the overall recovery figure to over 90%. Further work is anticipated in this area and will be reported later, recognizing second-pass recovery improvement options always remain dependent on primary resource economics.
The Company is currently working with SNC-Lavalin Inc. (Brisbane, Australia) to complete a National Instrument NI 43-101 Technical Report on the economics of the Nyngan Scandium Project, scheduled for completion in late February 2012. These 2011 Hazen metallurgical test-work program results, together with previous test-work by the CSIRO and METCON Laboratories, will be used directly by SNC-Lavalin in that Technical Report, to support process design, costing, and production level assumptions.
Mr. George Putnam, CEO of EMC commented:
"These pilot-scale metallurgical test results from Hazen confirm for us the previous collective work on the Nyngan resource, and provide the foundation for SNC-Lavalin to complete the detailed process design and economic validation for the Nyngan Scandium Project. We believe these results to be fully supportive to our JV project with our partner, Jervois Mining, and keep us on track to complete the SNC-Lavalin work on schedule."
Mr. Willem Duyvesteyn, CTO of EMC commented:
"The work carried out by Hazen Research is gratifying in that it suggests good performance, on a large scale, from a series of standard processes. The complexity always lies in the detailed management of the processes, and we have now had a chance to understand the sensitivities and find some optimization, at a much larger scale than previous work allowed. There is more process refinement to pursue, and more to gain in our view, but we now have a solid base from which to develop the project."
Some further Hazen metallurgical test-work program specifics:
I. Acid Bake & Leach. Hazen prepared five batches of pugged resource material, performed 78 batch bakes with a small rotary kiln over a total 150 hours, applied several different filtration techniques to the leachate material and produced;
a quantity of 1,956 kg of blended primary filtrate,
grading 60 ppm scandium in solution, and
I. Solvent ExtractionEarly laboratory scale work on SX by the CSIRO has guided the construction of a pilot SX circuit at Hazen's facility, consisting of three countercurrent extraction and three stripping stages, where various extractants of differing effectiveness and temperature control systems were tested, under various operating conditions. The test-work produced:
a strip product grading 890 ppm scandium,
at +99% recoveries.
Considerably higher intermediate grades were made with different extractants, but with somewhat lower recoveries.
I. Precipitation and Finish. Techniques focused on separate techniques to achieve marketable purity product at highest possible recovery levels, or very high purity product at lower anticipated recovery levels. The work demonstrated that:
marketable scandium oxide grades can be achieved with single stage recovery techniques and high recovery levels, and
two stage techniques will produce very high grade product, at lower recoveries.
These recoveries are based on single pass measurement that did not consider system loading and ultimate continuous operational recoveries, which would likely be materially higher for two stage systems.
About EMC Metals
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 261 ppm Sc, based on a cut-off grade of 100 ppm Sc ("NI 43-101 Technical Report on Nyngan Scandium, Jervois Mining Limited, Nyngan, New South Wales, Australia", March 25, 2010).
EMC also holds the Springer Tungsten mine in Nevada, USA, and the Carlin Vanadium property near Carlin, Nevada. Both properties have current NI 43-101 compliant resource estimates, available on the Company website and on SEDAR.
The technical information in this news release has been reviewed by Willem Duyvesteyn, a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Duyvesteyn is employed by EMC Metals Corp.
For additional information please contact:
EMC Metals Corp.
Investor Relations-Nevada: (775) 355-9500 or firstname.lastname@example.org , or
Kelly Boatright, The Windward Agency, Charlotte, NC - Toll Free 1-866-583-6300
No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.
This press release contains forward-looking information that does 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. Specifically, while we are in the process of obtaining an independent feasibility study on our Nyngan project, until such report is available and demonstrates positive feasibility of the project, readers should not assume that the project is economically feasible. In addition, a production decision involves numerous risks, including financing of the project, market demand and market price fluctuations for scandium produced and/or processed by us and other standard and usual risks of a mining operation. In regards to our exploration activities described in this press release, there is no guarantee that we will identify suitable targets for drilling, or that results of drilling will merit further exploration. In addition, our exploration activities are subject to available funding, which may require that we raise capital by equity based financing, the success of which we cannot predict. Accordingly, forward-looking information in this press release is based on estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice, and by other risk factors disclosed in our public filings. Except as required by law, EMC assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change.
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