Hydrometallurgical process defined
Electrolytic Manganese Metal (EMM) produced in bench scale testing
London AIM: MIO
TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2014 /CNW/ - Minco plc (AIM - "MIO") (the "Company") is pleased to announce the completion of a bench scale
test program that has defined a hydrometallurgical process for the
Company's 100% owned Plymouth manganese deposit and successfully
produced commercial grade electrolytic manganese metal (EMM) containing
between 99.71% to 99.75% Mn.
Completion of the process development program has defined a viable
technology for hydrometallurgical processing of the Plymouth deposit
that employs high gradient magnetic separation, leaching, solution
purification, electrowinning and waste management.
The successful definition of the hydrometallurgical process and the test
production of commercial grade electrolytic manganese metal allow Minco
to complete a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) of its Woodstock
manganese project. Contracts for completion of the PEA have been
jointly awarded to independent consultants Tetra Tech of Toronto and
Thibault and Associates of Fredericton. The PEA is anticipated to be
completed during the second quarter of 2014.
"We are very pleased to have completed this positive bench scale test
program indicating that the proposed hydrometallurgical process for
production of high-purity electrolytic manganese metal is technically
viable", stated John Kearney, Chairman of Minco. "This is a significant step forward for Minco's Woodstock manganese
Since 2011, Thibault and Associates Inc. ("Thibault") of Fredericton,
New Brunswick have been working under contract to Minco to develop and
design a hydrometallurgical process for the production of electrolytic
manganese metal from the Plymouth deposit. Several phases of bench scale test work were
completed by Thibault to assess alternative technologies and to
optimize each stage of the process. A batch mini-pilot test program was
also completed to simulate the purification of manganese sulfate
electrolyte for confirmation of EMM product quality.
The process flowsheet includes high-gradient magnetic separation (HGMS)
to pre-concentrate the ore prior to hydrometallurgical processing.
Pre-concentration of the ore by HGMS resulted in the upgrading of a
composite ore sample from 11.4% Mn to obtain a concentrate containing
14.85% to 15.85% Mn at recoveries ranging from 86.6% to 89.6%.
Commercially proven process technologies were selected for purification
of the manganese sulfate solution and to minimize the environmental
impact of hydrometallurgical residues.
SUCCESSFUL PRODUCTION OF COMMERCIAL GRADE EMM
The purified manganese sulfate solution generated from mini-pilot
simulation of the hydrometallurgical process was used to assess various
operating parameters for production of EMM using a prototype
electrowinning cell similar to commercial cells. Semi-continuous bench
scale electrowinning tests over an 8-hour duration consistently
produced EMM (under optimized conditions) with a metallic manganese
content (based on trace metal impurity analysis) of greater than
The next phase of process development testing will focus on the
operation of a small scale continuous pilot test program to confirm
product grade and recovery relative to ore variability and process
equipment scale-up parameters.
ABOUT THE PLYMOUTH DEPOSIT
The Plymouth deposit is one of three known manganese deposits located
within Minco's 100% owned Woodstock property, located five kilometres
west of the town of Woodstock in New Brunswick, Canada. The Woodstock
property is believed to be Canada's largest undeveloped manganese
On May 8th, 2013, Minco announced an Inferred Resource for the Plymouth manganese
deposit of 43.7 million tonnes grading 9.98% Mn at a 5% Mn cut-off. This Inferred Resource estimate is NI 43-101
compliant and contains higher-grade shells with lesser tonnages at
higher cut-offs including 22.5 million tonnes grading 11.86% Mn at a 10% Mn cut-off and 9.1 million tonnes grading 13.19% Mn at a 12% Mn cut-off. The estimates were completed by Mercator
Geological Services of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The Plymouth deposit
remains open at depth and along strike in both directions.
QUALIFIED PERSON AND SAMPLING PROCEDURE
J. Dean Thibault, P.Eng. and Stephanie M. Goodine., P.Eng. of Thibault &
Associates Inc., are acting as a Qualified Persons in compliance with
National Instrument 43-101 with respect to the metallurgical bench
scale process development test program and process flowsheet design
information contained in this release and have reviewed the contents
Paul Moore, MSc, P.Geo., (NL), Vice-President Exploration for Buchans
Minerals Corporation (100% subsidiary of Minco) is acting as a
Qualified Person in compliance with NI-43-101 with respect to the
geological technical information contained in this release and has
reviewed the contents for accuracy.
Minco Plc is registered in the Republic of Ireland and is listed on the
AIM Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange ("MIO").
The Company is focussed on exploration and development of zinc-lead
projects in the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland; and is also
evaluating a manganese project in New Brunswick, Canada.
In the UK, Minco is continuing an ongoing drilling program on its
Northern Pennines zinc-lead exploration project, where the Company has
intersected promising base metal results from an area that was once the
centre of European base metal production in the 17 and 18th centuries.
Minco is currently carrying out a pre-feasibility study on its Buchans
zinc/lead project in Newfoundland, and is currently undertaking a
winter exploration diamond drilling program on its Clementine West
prospect adjacent to Buchans.
Minco also has interests in zinc-silver projects in Mexico through its
holding of 30 million shares (approximately 29%) in Xtierra Inc. listed
on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSX.V-"XAG").
Minco also holds a 2% NSR royalty on the Curraghinalt gold property in
Northern Ireland that is being explored by Dalradian Resources Inc.
SOURCE: Minco plc
For further information:
refer to Minco's website at www.minco.ie or contact:
John Kearney: Chairman and Chief Executive +1 416 362 6686
Danesh Varma: CFO & Company Secretary +44 (0) 8452 606 034
Peter McParland: Director - Ireland +353 (0)46 907-3709
Warren MacLeod: Director and President Buchans Minerals +1 709 725 0555
John Frain/Fergal Meegan: (NOMAD) Davy +353 (0)1 6796363