Argex Mining (CVE:RGX) (OTCBB:ARGEF) said Monday it has successfully completed preliminary metallurgy testing of mineralization from its Lac Brule project in Quebec, using the patented CTL process.
The testing showed improved leaching results than the ones obtained
using the massive mineralization from its La Blache titaniferous
magnetite project, Argex added.
Indeed, during the first quarter of the year, the company, in
collaboration with Process Research Ortech, completed bench scale
testing of the Lac Brule massive mineralization.
Bench testing initial results were 94 percent of the TiO2 (titanium
dioxide) leached, compared to 92 percent of TiO2 leached for La Blache,
along with 95 percent of the V2O5 (vanadium pentoxide) leached and 99
percent of the iron oxides leached.
"With the higher TiO2 average grade of 34% vs. the 18% TiO2 in the La
Blache mineralization and lower iron content, it is expected that the
throughput with similar capital expenditure would be approximately 90%
higher than what would have been obtained with La Blache," said Argex's
COO, Enrico Di Cesare.
"I am pleased with the progress we have made, and we will be running
the existing pilot plant with Lac Brule material over the next few
months to make TiO2 pigment.
"As part of our due diligence process, we are now conducting batch
testing on higher grade TiO2 ilmenite concentrates selected from
existing feedstock producers from around the world.
"This pre-qualification of potential feedstock will be used as part of advanced-stage studies," he added.
patented closed-loop CTL Process involves the leaching of
titanium-bearing ore material in chloride acid media, under conditions
for both iron and titanium in the ore to be leached into solution.
The energy efficient process operates at atmospheric pressure and
does not require pre-treatment of the ore, meaning no oxidation and/or
reduction is required.
The process operates with relatively low concentration of
hydrochloric acid and avoids the need to handle chlorine, carbon, or
carbon containing chemicals at very high temperatures.
"The CTL Process has shown an enormous flexibility to operate
successfully on different ore bodies," said president and CEO Roy
Bonnell, "which should provide us with even greater optionality in
growing the company as we move forward."
The sample processed for the testing was collected by Quinto in 2005
as part of a trenching program completed on the Lac Brule main deposit.
Argex also said Monday it completed a high resolution airborne
geophysical survey covering the main area of the Lac Brule property,
including the recently acquired claim block from Quinto Mining Corp.
During February and March, a total of 1,590 line kilometres were
flown by Geotech with 60-metre line spacing. The final report is
expected in the coming days, the company said.
"This survey allows us to get a detailed geophysical picture of the
known massive hemo-ilmenite deposits occurring on the property," said
Argex's VP of mining and geology, AndrAcopyright LaferriA re.
"This new geophysical dataset will significantly enhance our
understanding of the geology in the area, which will help us optimize
the next exploration program on the property."
The Lac Brule property covers part of the Labrieville anorthosite
complex, which hosts known magmatic iron oxide deposits strongly
mineralized in titanium.
Historical exploration work completed on the property in the 50s and
70s outlined three massive ilmenite lenses, while an internal study done
in 2005 reported a mineral resource estimate totalling 3.8 million
tonnes and having an average grade of 30.1% TiO2. Such tonnage is,
however, not confirmed by the recent NI 43-101 report, Argex noted.
Earlier this month, Argex announced that it entered into a technical
collaboration agreement with PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) to develop and
optimize PPG's technology for titanium dioxide (TiO2).
The goal is to develop a titanium dioxide product that can meet
conventional standards for interior and exterior paint and coatings
applications, to be produced by Argex.
Titanium dioxide is an inorganic substance characterized by
brightness and very high refractive index, making it an ideal pigment in
paints, plastics and paper.
Argex is a junior Canadian resource company that is developing the
advanced stage La Blache titaniferous magnetite project, and also owns
the Lac Brûlé high grade ilmenite and the Mouchalagane iron ore
projects, which are all located on Quebec’s North Shore.