News Article | December 20, 2016
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 20, 2016) - Search Minerals Inc. ("Search" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:SMY) is pleased to provide an update on the pilot plant program (the "Pilot Plant") which is being conducted by SGS Canada Inc. ("SGS") on bulk material from the Company's FOXTROT deposit in SE Labrador. The Pilot Plant is being funded through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency ("ACOA") and the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador ("RDC") for up to $1.25M of the $1.9M program cost. The Pilot Plant is using the patent-pending proprietary technology breakthrough developed by the Company (the "Search Direct Extraction Process"), which has eliminated grinding, flotation, and magnetic and gravity separation from the process flow-sheet. Eliminating these processes is expected to significantly reduce capital and operating costs for processing material to a mixed rare earth oxide concentrate product. The Search Direct Extraction Process involves several steps but can be simply described in two phases. In the first phase, a finely crushed material is treated to produce a rare earth carbonate concentrate. In the second and final phase, the carbonate concentrate is re-dissolved and re-leached to produce a high quality mixed rare earth oxide concentrate product ready for shipping to a refinery. All bench testing of the bulk sample has now been completed providing additional insight into each of the steps involved in each phase of the overall extraction process. More specifically, Search has been able to demonstrate the ability to remove/reduce the already small amounts of uranium and zinc in the rare earth material to levels acceptable to refineries. The bench scale testing also confirmed that sulfuric acid can be used in place of hydrochloric acid in the second phase treatment of the mixed rare earth carbonate. This simplifies operations and further reduces extraction costs as sulfuric acid is less expensive than hydrochloric acid. All these insights were carried forward and incorporated into the final Pilot Plant design with a view to maximizing the overall recovery of rare earths from the FOXTROT material. We are pleased to report that the additional work at bench scale has been successfully incorporated into the first 5 days of continuous operation of the first phase of the Pilot Plant. The 5-day continuous operation comprised the following steps: As noted earlier, the mixed rare earth carbonate precipitate is the feed to the second phase of the Search Direct Extraction Process. The Pilot Plant testing, including the second phase of the Direct Extraction Process, will continue in January, and is expected to be completed by the first week of February with formal reporting of final results to follow thereafter. In anticipation of questions during the FOXTROT environmental assessment process, the Company has defined a program with SGS Minerals for testing and assessing the contents of the residues and barren solutions associated with the Direct Extraction Process. These tests will be conducted during Pilot Plant testing and directly after it concludes. By conducting these tests at this time Search and its stakeholders will have timely access to important decision making information as we work together to move the FOXTROT project forward in a safe, environmentally respectful manner. Dr. David Dreisinger, Ph.D., P.Eng., is the Company's Vice President, Metallurgy and Qualified Person for the purposes of NI 43-101. Dr. Dreisinger has reviewed and approved the technical disclosure contained in this news release as applicable. The company will endeavour to meet high standards of integrity, transparency, and consistency in reporting technical content, including geological and assay (e.g., REE) data. Led by a proven management team and board of directors, Search is focused on finding and developing resources within the emerging Port Hope Simpson Critical Rare Earth Element (CREE) District of SE Labrador. The Company controls a belt 70 km long and 8 km wide including its 100% interest in the FOXTROT Project which is road accessible and at tidewater. Exploration efforts have advanced "Deepwater Fox" and "Fox Meadow" as significant new CREE prospects very similar and in close proximity to the FOXTROT discovery. While the Company has identified more than 20 other prospects in the District, its primary objective remains development of FOXTROT by confirming proprietary direct extraction metallurgy processing technology at the pilot plant level (in progress) and delineation of prospects that will ensure competitive-low cost production beyond the 14-year mine life contemplated in the preliminary economic assessment of FOXTROT completed in April 2016. The FOXTROT Project has a low capital cost to brig the initial project into production ($152 M), a short payback period, and is scalable due to Search's proprietary processing technology. All material information on the Company may be found on its website at www.searchminerals.ca and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com Identified as Neodymium (Nd), Europium (Eu), Terbium (Tb), Dysprosium (Dy) and Yttrium (Y) this valuable subset of the complete series of seventeen rare earth elements is considered critical due to high demand and/or constrained domestic supply. Containing unique properties which enhance the performance of a range of innovative technologies, CREEs are essential components in the development of permanent magnets and a variety of other components used in renewable energy, green technology automobiles, medical devices, electronics and agricultural production. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release includes certain "forward-looking information" and "forward-looking statements" (collectively "forward- looking statements") within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States securities legislation including the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, without limitation, statements relating the future operating or financial performance of the Company, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as "expects", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "potential", "possible", and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions, or results "will", "may", "could", or "should" occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements in this news release relate to, among other things future events or the Company's future performance, business prospects or opportunities. Actual future results may differ materially. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Forward-looking statements reflect the beliefs, opinions and projections on the date the statements are made and are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by the respective parties, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and the parties have made assumptions and estimates based on or related to many of these factors. Such factors include, without limitation, general business, economic and social uncertainties; litigation, legislative, environmental and other judicial, regulatory, political and competitive developments; and those additional risks set out in Search's public documents filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although Search believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this news release and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Except where required by law, Search disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Fleming C.A.,SGS Minerals |
Mezei A.,SGS Minerals |
Bourricaudy E.,SGS Minerals |
Canizares M.,SGS Minerals |
Ashbury M.,SGS Minerals
Minerals Engineering | Year: 2011
The carbon in pulp (CIP) and carbon in leach (CIL) processes became firmly established in the gold mining industry in the 1980s, initially in South Africa and Australia, from where they spread rapidly to all the gold producing regions of the world. The percentage of annual global gold production by activated carbon-based processes grew from zero in the 1970s to almost 70% by the turn of the century, which represented a phenomenal rate of acceptance of a new technology by a traditionally conservative industry. The main reason for this rapid acceptance of the new technology was the fact that the first few large industrial plants in South Africa convincingly demonstrated better gold recoveries than the traditional filtration/Merrill Crowe process, with lower capital and operating costs. And as the plants developed an operating track record over their first few years of life, they proved to be remarkably robust mechanically, and highly tolerant of plant upsets, changes in feed composition and solution phase contaminants that had caused great problems in Merrill Crowe plants. These stellar attributes of the carbon-based gold plants have led to complacency and laziness in the industry, both at the new plant design stage, and with on-going optimization of existing plants. In many cases, basic "rules of thumb" that were developed as design criteria for the early CIP plants are still used today, with no appreciation of the factors that may cause one plant to perform quite differently from another. There seems to be little incentive to improve performance when it is well known that most CIP and CIL plants operate quite well with minimal optimization and, in many cases, minimal understanding of the factors that influence performance. Consequently, almost all CIP and CIL plants are overdesigned at the construction stage and are then operated sub-optimally. This can lead to higher gold losses and/or higher capital and operating costs than necessary. This paper examines the factors that influence CIP and CIL plant design and performance, and demonstrates a very simple methodology that can be used to arrive at something close to an optimum plant design. It can also be used as an on-going tool by plant metallurgists to transform a fairly well run plant into an exceptionally well run plant. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fleming C.A.,SGS Minerals
Minerals and Metallurgical Processing | Year: 2010
Refractory gold concentrates often contain submicroscopic gold that is encapsulated within the crystal matrix of iron sulfide minerals, such as pyrite, pyrrhotite and arsenopyrite. To recover the gold, the host mineral must generally be broken down chemically by oxidative processes, such as roasting, pressure oxidation or bacterial leaching, which expose the gold for subsequent recovery by leaching in cyanide solution. The focus of attention in these pretreatment processes is usually the oxidation of the sulfides to elemental sulfur, sulfur dioxide gas or sulfate ions. Less attention is paid to the deportment of iron and the changes in its oxidation state, although this can have a profound effect on gold and silver liberation, as well as downstream operating costs. Iron sulfide minerals break down completely during pressure oxidation, and dissolve in the sulfuric acid solution that is generated from oxidation of the sulfides. This dissolution liberates the tiny gold particles that were originally trapped in the sulfide crystals, and gold recovery during subsequent cyanidation is usually very high (>95%). Iron goes into solution in the oxidation process, initially as ferrous sulfate, but this compound is rapidly oxidized to ferric sulfate, which then hydrolyzes and reprecipitates. The form of the precipitate varies depending on the operating conditions in the autoclave and the presence of certain metal cations. When the acidity in the autoclave is quite low (<20 g/L H2S04) and the temperature is high (>200° C), the formation of hematite is favored. When the acidity is high (>20 g/L H2S04) and the temperature is relatively low (160 to 200° C), the form ation of basic iron sulfate is favored. If the ore or the leach solution contains significant levels of certain cations (such as Na+, K+, NH4+, Ag+ or Pb2+) and the acidity is high (>20 g/L H2S04), jarosite compounds are favored. Hematite is the desired iron product in the autoclave discharge, for both metallurgical and environmental reasons, but it is difficult to operate an autoclave under the conditions required for effective liberation of gold without converting some of the iron to basic iron sulfate and/or jarosite. These compounds fall into a category of iron compounds known generically as iron hydroxy sulfates, all of which can cause significant processing and environmental problenis in the downstream gold process. This paper deals specifically with basic iron sulfate: the conditions under which it is formed in an autoclave, the problems that are caused by its presence in the feed to a cyanidation plant and possible remedial strategies that can be adopted, both in the autoclave and downstream. Copyright 2010, Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc.