i-Minerals Announces Update on Feasibility Study Progress
VANCOUVER, BC -- i-minerals inc. (TSX-V: IMA) announces that its feasibility study being undertaken by SRK consultants, in conjunction with other consultants, is progressing on time and on budget. Management is very pleased with the progress on all related aspects of the feasibility study as pointed out below.
SRK has incorporated all data from holes drilled into the Kelly’s Basin deposit into a computer-based model. The computer model has subdivided the deposit into twenty-foot cubic blocks and assigned a grade to each of these blocks, formulating a block model of the resource. SRK is in the final stages of a measured resource calculation that will upgrade the block model of the Kelly’s Basin area covered by drilling on a 200-foot grid. Based upon the location and dimensions of the defined resource, SRK is in the process of designing pit walls, haul roads, and other mine infrastructures to service three possible plant sites, all of which are close to or on rail and within 5 kilometers of the mine site. From these information and processes, the overall mine plan will be constructed by SRK, which upon demonstrating economic viability will upgrade the block model to a Mineral Reserve as defined by NI 43-101.
The company is continuing with detailed metallurgical work at Minerals Research Laboratory, North Carolina State University (“MRL”). MRL is currently processing 35 tons of potassium feldspar-quartz material generated as part of earlier mining of residual clay deposits. The material is being processed using standard flotation processes on a pilot plant scale of up to 100 pounds per hour. To date, about 25 tons of material has been processed so far. Both potassium feldspar and quartz products are being generated during the pilot plant processing.
A 5-ton composite sample generated from drill core from the last three drill programs conducted in Kelly’s Basin is on route to MRL. Processing of this material will commence once processing of the potassium feldspar-quartz material is complete. Metallurgical results from the pilot level processing of this material will be incorporated into the ongoing feasibility including recoveries, capital and operating costs. A representative of SRK will observe and review the pilot plant work to independently verify procedures and results.
As noted in the Company’s press release of January 30, 2007, secondary flotation of quartz products has yielded SiO2 purities of 99.8%. Once the pilot plant is processing the Kelly’s Basin material in a continuous manner, MRL will undertake multi-stage flotations of the quartz material. The objective of this next phase of quartz metallurgy is to create as high a purity quartz product as possible through flotation techniques.
The Company has generated strong interest in its feldspar products. The domestic interest in various feldspar products is believed sufficient for a base load on the production plant. In addition the Company has engaged a representative based in Asia to market its products into offshore markets. Preliminary indications suggest strong demand for the Company’s products.
Quartz marketing work is proving very encouraging. Due to rapid growth in flat panel TV and solar panel markets, segments of the higher purity quartz market appear to be opportunistic. To capture portions of these markets, the Company must successfully upgrade its quartz products beyond the recently achieved 99.8% purity levels. The current flotation metallurgy referenced above is an important step in being able to achieve the necessary purities. Numerous other opportunities have been identified for the quartz products, albeit at lower product pricing than high purity quartz, but still at very attractive quartz product pricing.
Management of the Company is pleased with the progress in the permitting process. To date, no material shortcomings in the Company’s development plan have been identified. The Company’s environmental consultants have submitted all required documentation necessary to keep the permitting process moving forward in a timely fashion.
All of the above noted tasks are integral to the finalization of the project economics. Finalization of the mine plan will provide the mine operating costs, while results from the next pilot plant metallurgical work will provide processing operating costs in addition to capital cost estimates. To confirm there is economic interest in the Company’s products, marketing work will focus on securing letters of interest in the company’s products providing the basis for revenue estimation. Completion of all of the above tasks -- measured resource calculation and mine planning together with the revenue and cost estimates -- will be sufficient for SRK to complete the basis of a feasibility analysis of the Kelly’s Basin deposit.
“The many interrelated tasks necessary to complete the complex feasibility study process are rapidly nearing completion,” stated Roger Kauffman, President of i-minerals. “The timely completion of the final pilot plant work, mine plan and permitting will allow SRK to drive the project to the feasibility stage in fairly short order and move us one step closer to a production decision.”
A. Lamar Long, CPG, is the Qualified Person (“QP”) for the Helmer-Bovill project under NI 43-101. He oversees the quality control and quality assurance program and the construction of all samples for metallurgical analysis and reviews all analytical results prior to public release.
per: “Roger Kauffman”
President & CEO
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This News Release includes certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization and resources, exploration results, and future plans and objectives of the Company are forward-looking statements that involve various risks. Actual results could differ materially from those projected as a result of the following factors, among others: changes in the world wide price of mineral market conditions, risks inherent in mineral exploration, risk associated with development, construction and mining operations, the uncertainty of future profitability and uncertainty of access to additional capital.
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