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Hematite Byproduct Presents Potential New Revenue Stream
TORONTO, Sept. 4 /CNW/ - Starfield Resources Inc. (TSX: SRU/OTCBB: SRFDF)
today announced successful results from the ongoing hydrometallurgical testing
program of its novel, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient process to
treat the Company's Ferguson Lake massive sulphide ore. An operational update
is also included at the end of this news release.
During batch testing, the iron hydrolysis and acid recovery circuit
worked extremely well, producing a high quality hematite and simultaneously
recovering a high strength hydrochloric acid. The hematite is of sufficient
purity and quality to be used directly in steelmaking, and therefore presents
a potential new revenue stream for the Ferguson Lake project.
"We are very impressed with the promising results achieved in the batch
testing program," said André Douchane, President and Chief Executive Officer.
"We are very pleased that the iron hydrolysis and acid recovery circuit is
working very well because it is important to the efficient operation of the
entire process circuit."
Results to date have shown that:
- Hydrochloric acid can be recovered at a strength of 34%. This is
significantly better than any conventional acid recovery process
currently being operated, such as pyrohydrolysis which is used in the
- Up to 90% of the iron can be precipitated as highly crystalline
hematite. The hematite produced is "black hematite" which is a very
pure form of hematite. The iron content of the precipitates has
varied from 67% to 71% iron. The precipitates show no trace of
chloride, or base metals, making this material a very suitable feed
for a steelmaking process.
- The precipitated solids have a moisture content of only 10%,
demonstrating that they filter and wash very well. This significantly
aids the water balance of the hydrometallurgical plant.
- Since no base metals are detected in the final iron solids, it will
be possible to remove most of the iron from the circuit without
incurring any loss of base metals. This compares very favourably with
existing hydrometallurgical processes.
Since the publication of the Company's Scoping Study that was filed to
SEDAR on May 1, 2008, considerable progress has been made towards optimizing
and finalizing the process circuit. The magnesium chloride matrix has been
abandoned and replaced by a form of iron chloride, which is generated as a
natural consequence of the hydrochloric acid primary leach. All the data
generated with magnesium are equally applicable to iron. The primary leach and
secondary leach, both of which were successfully piloted at SGS Lakefield in
2007, perform exactly the same with iron as the matrix as they did with
"It should be noted that substituting iron for magnesium is a
simplification, adapted because iron has been found to behave much better than
magnesium during hydrolysis, making the hydrolysis and acid recovery circuit
much easier and more efficient to operate, and is based on the PORI Process
that was operated for several years in the 1970s," added Dr. Bryn Harris.
Currently, a continuous hydrolysis and acid recovery circuit is being
commissioned by Starfield in Montreal, and is expected to be operational by
the end of September. Planning for a pilot plant is also underway, targeted
for testing to begin in mid-year of 2009 when a bulk sample will be sent from
"We are very pleased to have Hatch Engineering contracted to help with
our pilot plant design and testing," said Mr. Douchane. Brian Krysa of the
Hatch Group has been appointed to the pilot plant team, bringing his vast
experience and the resources of Hatch Engineering. The Hatch Group provides
process and detail engineering, technologies, business consulting and project
and construction management services to the Mining & Metals, Energy and
Dr. Bryn Harris, B.Sc., Ph.D., FCIM, FIMMM, C.Eng, is the Qualified
Person for the hydrometallurgical process and has reviewed this news release
in accordance with NI 43-101.
Significant progress has been made at the Ferguson Lake project this
summer. As planned, the drill rig has been moved 20 kilometres from the North
Zone to the Y Lake Zone to explore the large geophysical anomaly with surface
mineralization. At the current rate of drilling, the Company expects to drill
in excess of its 15,000 metre 2008 drilling program.
The Company also announced that the new airstrip near the camp is
operational, helping lower transportation costs. The Company plans to extend
the airstrip further to allow a Dash 7 airliner to land, which will further
reduce transportation expenses.
Starfield Resources Inc. is an advanced exploration and emerging early
stage development company focused on its Ferguson Lake
Nickel-Copper-Platinum-Palladium-Cobalt property in Nunavut, Canada. The
property is emerging as Nunavut's largest ongoing base and precious metal
project. Starfield has funded the development of a novel, environmentally
friendly and energy-efficient hydrometallurgical flowsheet to recover metals
from its Ferguson Lake massive sulphides.
For further information:
For further information: Connie Anderson, Investor Relations, Starfield
Resources Inc., (416) 860-0400 ext. 228, firstname.lastname@example.org; André J.
Douchane, President and CEO, Starfield Resources Inc., (416) 860-0400 ext.
222, email@example.com; Greg Van Staveren, Chief Financial Officer,
Starfield Resources Inc., (416) 860-0400, firstname.lastname@example.org,