TORONTO, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - Xtierra Inc. (TSXV - XAG) ("Xtierra" or the "Company"), is pleased to announce that it has completed oxide metallurgical test work as part of a Feasibility Study being conducted on Xtierra's 100% owned Bilbao silver-zinc-lead-copper deposit located in the Central Mineral Belt of Mexico in the State of Zacatecas and is now proceeding to implement a pilot plant test program. The work was carried out at the Metallurgical Institute in San Luis Potosi.
Commenting on the Bilbao Oxide Metallurgical Test Results, Xtierra's President & CEO, Terence McKillen said, "The oxide test results are extremely positive and indicate that we have a practical and economic solution to the processing and recovery for the oxide resources which represent approximately 40% of the total resource potential at Bilbao. More importantly, it allows us to focus on open pit mining methods for the initial development of Bilbao, including all of the oxide and transition resources with the potential of extracting a significant portion of the sulphide resources before underground development."
The objective of the oxide metallurgical study was to develop a process for the recovery of silver, zinc, lead, copper and gold to commercially acceptable levels. The process involves crushing and grinding all run-of-mine material to 80% -200 mesh and then removal of 40-50% of the volume of material (pre-concentrating) using a high intensity magnetic separator (HIMC). This results in a significant reduction in the material requiring downstream processing. The non-magnetic concentrate, containing the majority of the payable metals, is then subject to processing including sulphuric acid leaching to recover copper and zinc metal; flotation to recover lead and silver in a concentrate; and cyanide leaching to recover gold and silver.
The flow sheet design exhibits a number of advantages which are anticipated to impact positively on operating and capital costs. Acid consumption represents one-third of that required without the HIMC process. Transportation and smelting costs are reduced as lead concentrate is the only product requiring smelting and it will contain only lead and a percentage of the silver. All of the other contained metals are recovered as direct metal products and doré. Savings in capital cost result from a 40-50% reduction in the size capacity of downstream processing equipment. In addition, the 40-50% magnetic reject from the HIMC process contains 35% iron oxide which may be a marketable product to the cement industry.
The metal recoveries from the metallurgical test work on the oxide material include:
Even though these appear to be low recoveries relative to recoveries in a conventional flotation process on sulphide ores, the resulting gross values are expected to be similar since pure metal is produced in all cases other than lead and the smelting/refining process is circumvented. Additional optimization will occur during the pilot plant test program which will begin in February 2010.
Test work on the primary sulphide and transition (mixed oxide and sulphide) resources is currently in progress with encouraging results to date. Sulphide resources will be processed utilizing a conventional flotation flow sheet.
Information of a scientific or technical nature contained in this release has been prepared by or under the supervision of Gerald Gauthier, P.Eng., the Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation and a Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators.
About Xtierra Inc.
Xtierra Inc. is a Toronto based exploration and development company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. Xtierra's shares trade under the symbol "XAG". Xtierra has 49,862,003 shares issued and outstanding. Xtierra is conducting a feasibility study on its 100% owned Bilbao silver-zinc-copper project in Zacatecas, Mexico. Xtierra's objective is to become a mid-tier producer of precious and base metals through the development of its Bilbao and Laguna projects, both located in the Central Mexican Mineral Belt in the State of Zacatecas, as well as through exploration, organic growth and M & A opportunities.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or the accuracy of this release.
SOURCE XTIERRA INC.
For further information: For further information: visit www.xtierra.ca or contact: Terence McKillen, President & Chief Executive, (416) 362-8243; Tim Gallagher, Director, (416) 925-0090; Alejandro Alaniz, Director Finance & Administration (Mexico), +52 (492) 925-0804