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i-minerals inc. (TSX VENTURE: IMA) announces high purity quartz testing is underway at a specialty laboratory in Germany. In parallel a bulk sample of the Helmer-Bovill residual clay has been sent to Ginn Mineral Technologies, Inc. ("GMT") in Sandersville, Georgia for production of halloysite and kaolinite. In addition the pilot plant at Minerals Research Laboratory at North Carolina State University ("MRL") is actively processing the composite bulk sample of soda-spar material generated from 52 diamond drill holes, results from which will provide critical information for the ongoing feasibility study on the Kelly's Basin feldspar-quartz deposit being undertaken by SRK Engineering (US) Inc of Denver, Co.
MRL has completed additional bench scale flotation testing on a quartz product generated from a sample comprised of the ACE composite from core drilled in 2003 in the Kelly's Basin resource area. From this bench scale metallurgical work, approximately one kilogram of quartz product was produced through a multistage flotation process. This sample was forwarded to a specialty quartz testing laboratory in Germany, Dorfner Anzaplan ("Dorfner"), for an initial analysis and recommendations for additional treatments to further upgrade the quartz product. Initial analysis of the quartz product indicates the flotation process employed by MRL was highly successful in removing the feldspar and other deleterious elements from the quartz product. i-minerals is following the specialty laboratory's recommendations and will undertake more complex metallurgical processes to see if additional impurities can be removed from the quartz product, down to only 100's of parts per million of non-silica elements, and move it deeper into the HPQ market.
Residual Clay Characterization
A bulk sample of approximately two tons of material has been excavated from an area of previous mining efforts and sent to GMT. The raw clays will be processed to create halloysite and kaolinite products with the residual feldspar quartz product being stored for later testing. Both clay products will be characterized for brightness and chemical composition similar to earlier work completed by GMT. The sample is of sufficient size to provide test samples to interested companies, with the halloysite product having a high interest to the nanotechnology industry. In conjunction with this testing, the Company intends to move the diamond drill back onto the Helmer-Bovill property to complete a few short holes in the immediate vicinity of past mining operations in an effort to define a resource of residual clay prior to winter.
Feasibility Update on the Kelly's Basin Deposit
MRL has switched the feed into the pilot plant from potassium feldspar to sodium feldspar. The first batch has been processed and sent for analysis. At this early stage management is very encouraged with the recoveries prior to the optimization of the flotation process. Quartz product produced during the feldspar production will be processed later for continued HPQ testing.
The completion of the pilot plant and the receipt of all associated assays will allow SRK to finalize the resource calculation and the mine plan. The delays in processing the composite sample have created a bit of a bottle neck in the feasibility process. With the pilot plant now processing the composite sample and the relatively small tonnage of the sample, both the updated resource calculation and the mine plan are expected to be completed before year end.
Product marketing work is progressing very favorably with significant commercial interest being expressed in the Company's feldspar and quartz products. Strong progress is being made on the permitting process with all requested information having been submitted to the regulatory agencies. At this time Management anticipates the 45 day public comment period to commence prior to year end.
"We are all very encouraged by the outstanding quartz product created by MRL and anxiously await the next phase of metallurgical work from Dorfner," commented Roger Kauffman, president of i-minerals. "We are making outstanding progress on the development of our business plan as the value of the products we aspire to produce, particularly quartz, halloysite and kaolin, increases with each set of incremental work."
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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