Initial Results Confirm Excellent Leachability of the Agata Nickel
TSX: TVI OTCQX: TVIPF
CALGARY, Oct. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - TVI Pacific Inc. (TSX:TVI) (OTCQX:TVIPF)
(TVI or the Company) through its Philippine operating affiliate, TVI
Resource Development (Phils.), Inc. (TVIRD), provides an update on the
test work results for its Agata Nickel Laterite Ore project. The
positive results of Beijing General Research Institute of Mining &
Metallurgy (BGRIMM) pilot plant marks another key step forward for the
Agata North project, located in the mining district of Agusan in
• Pilot scale testing of Agata ore by BGRIMM is complete.
• Results confirm excellent leachability obtained during bench-scale
• 93.5 - 94.5% Ni extraction obtained over the 2-stage leaching process.
• Favourable acid consumption in the range of 48-50 t acid/t Ni leached.
• Vendor testwork completed and all design parameters obtained for
pre-leach thickener, Counter-Current Decantation and residue filtration
• 8,000 L Pregnant Leach Solution produced from BGRIMM leaching campaign
and shipped to producer for offtaker evaluation.
• TVI's Philippine pilot plant commissioned and production of NHP to
commence in the 2nd half of October 2013.
On June 5, 2013, the Company announced the positive results of the bench
scale tests indicating that the Agata ore is highly amenable to acid
leaching. The next step was to then run a continuously operated pilot
plant at BGRIMM's research facility in China, in order to test and
obtain design data for feed ore screening/classification/thickening,
primary and secondary leaching, counter-current decantation (CCDs),
residue neutralization and residue filtration.
The BGRIMM pilot plant operation was conducted from May to July 2013 and
the results are encouraging and in line with expectations as obtained
from positive bench-scale test work.
Approximately 8,000L of the nickel-rich liquor from the BGRIMM pilot
leaching plant was shipped to the Philippines for use as the feed stock
to the TVI nickel purification and recovery pilot plant, established to
produce a Nickel Hydroxide Product (NHP, containing about 50-53% Ni).
Some of this liquor was also tested at BGRIMM in a continuous pilot
plant campaign configured to produce a Mixed Hydroxide Product (MHP)
containing at least 36% Ni. This will allow TVI to evaluate the process
option of producing MHP compared to NHP.
An overall nickel extraction of 93.5 - 94.5% may be consistently
achieved at an acid consumption of 48-50 t acid/t Ni leached. This has
been shown as a result of an extensive BGRIMM pilot plant campaign, in
which 4,300 kg of feed ore was leached.
Leaching performance achieved is near identical to that obtained during
the bench-scale test campaigns conducted at BGRIMM and the in-house
facility in Manila.
The 2-stage leaching process proposed is robust and yielded similar
results for the variety of ore types tested.
The leaching pilot plant operation allowed determination of other
circuit design data such as residence time, operating temperature, feed
slurry density, etc.
Vendor settling tests confirmed fast settling nature of the feed ore,
and leach residue. Acceptable underflow density obtained means that the
leach circuit can be operated at 35-40% solids and the Counter-Current
Decantation (CCD) circuit can be designed to achieve 98-99% recovery of
soluble Ni over 7 CCD stages. All design data for pre-leach and CCD
thickener design has been obtained.
Limestone and lime consumption were determined from the continuously
operating pilot plant for the neutralization of the washed leach
residue. Additionally, residence time and other design parameters were
Vendor settling tests have confirmed the expectation that the filtration
rate of the washed and neutralized leach residue is slow, but feasible
to incorporate this unit operation in the full scale plant flowsheet.
All data to allow the design of the residue filtration has been
A Mixed Hydroxide Product (MHP) containing an average of 36% nickel was
produced by treating the pregnant leach solution (PLS) with soda
ash/caustic soda. It was shown that it is possible to produce an MHP
containing >40% Ni, if a 2-stage precipitation circuit is used.
8,000L of the BGRIMM pilot plant PLS has been shipped to Philippines for
processing at TVI's downstream metal purification and recovery pilot
plant. A higher value Nickel Hydroxide Product (NHP) will be produced
at this facility.
Details of the BGRIMM Pilot Plant Campaign
The pilot plant test commenced in May 2013 and was based on the results
of the comprehensive program of laboratory bench-scale testing, which
were previously carried out at BGRIMM in China and at TVI's
Metallurgical Laboratory in the Philippines.
Approximately 30 t of ore was mined from a variety of test pits that
cover the Agata ore body. Test pits were carefully selected from the
available drill-hole data to accurately reflect the ore that is
expected to feed the process plant. Limonite and saprolite ore was
separately mined, blended and loaded into sealed drums to preserve ore
Approximately 12 t of ore was sent to BGRIMM in order to continuously
operate the pilot plant. The ore was blended, crushed, screened and
milled. Leaching commenced on 13 May 2013 to test a high grade (1.5%
Ni) and a medium grade (1.3% Ni) ore.
The leaching pilot plant comprised 2 stages, viz. primary leaching,
conducted in a series of 5 atmospheric leaching reactors, and secondary
leaching, conducted in an autoclave comprising 5 chambers and a flash
tank. Acid was added to the primary leaching circuit, together with
high Fe, low Mg content feed ore. Primary leach residue and fresh ore
containing low Fe, high Mg was fed to the autoclave. No acid is added,
since acid is generated from the Fe hydrolysis reaction occurring in
the autoclave. The autoclave therefore allows greater acid efficiency
to be obtained, as well as effectively reducing the Fe:Ni ratio in the
Residue from the leaching stage was made available to two thickener
vendors to conduct CCD thickener settling tests. Additionally, these
vendors also conducted primary leach feed slurry thickening tests.
These tests provide all the data required for the specification and
design of the pre-leach and CCD thickener stages.
Washed leach residue was neutralized using a continuous pilot plant
consisting of five neutralization reactors. Limestone was added to the
first reactor and lime was added to the second reactor.
Washed and neutralized leach residue was made available to two filter
vendors to conduct filtration tests that would allow the specification
and design of the residue filtration stage. A bulk sample of the washed
and neutralized residue filter cake has been sent to the TVI
metallurgical testing facility in the Philippines for the purpose of
conducting further environmental characterization and geo-technical
stability tests that will allow the design of the leached ore storage
facility and specification of the mine backfill and rehabilitation
PLS recovered from the slurry after leaching was divided into two
batches, including 8,000L for shipment to the TVI metallurgical testing
facility in the Philippines for production of a Nickel Hydroxide
Product (NHP) and 1,000L for production of an alternative Mixed
Hydroxide Product (MHP). This will allow NHP and MHP processes and
products to be compared and a final process route chosen as part of the
Bankable Feasibility Study that is currently underway.
The MHP production pilot plant operation has been completed by BGRIMM in
July 2013. PLS was subjected to Fe removal, conducted using limestone
as the neutralizing reagent, in a series of five continuously operating
neutralization reactors. The Fe-free PLS was then fed to a series of 5
Ni precipitation reactors, where soda ash/caustic soda was added in
order to precipitate the Ni, Co (and Mn) in solution to produce an MHP
containing on average 36% Ni. When a 2-stage precipitation circuit is
employed, the NHP Ni content is >40%.
TVI's Pilot Plant (Philippines)
TVI has installed and commissioned a continuously operating pilot plant
at its metallurgical laboratory in the Philippines. This pilot plant
comprises Ni solution purification (using continuous counter-current
ion exchange), Ni precipitation to produce NHP containing slurry (using
magnesia as precipitating agent) and NHP washing and filtration to
produce final NHP filter cake product (50-53% Ni). Additionally,
raffinate from the ion exchange pilot plant will be treated to remove
heavy metals so that the resultant brine may be appropriately disposed.
The 8,000L of PLS from BGRIMM has already been received at the TVI pilot
plant, and operation of the pilot plant is set to commence by
mid-October 2013 and will run until end-November 2013. On completion of
these pilot plant operations, TVI will have all the metallurgical data
required to design the proposed full-scale pilot plant, as well as have
all the consumption, recovery and other data in order to fully evaluate
the operating costs and other important process economic factors.
The NHP filter cake produced by the TVI pilot plant will be sent to
interested product off-takers for further evaluation.
TVI and Mindoro Joint Venture
TVI and Mindoro Resources (TSXv:MIO) have signed four joint venture
agreements, previously announced on October 1, 2012, relating to the
Agata and Pan de Azucar mining projects located in the Philippines on
the islands of Mindanao and Panay, respectively. The joint ventures
present TVI with multiple growth opportunities for near-term and
medium-term cash flow generating potential. Under the agreements the
Company's Philippine affiliate, TVI Resource Developments (Phils.) Inc.
("TVIRD") has the ability to earn up to a 60% interest and will act as
operator of the projects.
Mining Project Opportunities within the Agata Tenement
• a near-term high iron (Fe) laterite direct shipping ore (DSO)
• a near-term limestone DSO operation
• a medium-term lime production facility
• a medium-term nickel processing plant project
Prior extensive pre-feasibility and engineering works have been
conducted on the Mindoro properties. These reports can be accessed on
Mindoro's website at www.mindoro.com or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
TVI Pacific Inc. has filed an updated National Instrument 43-101
technical report on the Agata project on April 10, 2013. The National
Instrument 43-101 technical report is available on SEDAR and on TVI's
Enrico C. Nera, President and Chief Operating Officer of Minercon
International Inc., Member AusIMM, is the qualified person under NI
43-101 who has approved the scientific and technical information in
this news release.
About TVI Pacific Inc.
TVI Pacific Inc. is a Canadian resource company focused on the
production, development, exploration and acquisition of resource
projects in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The Company produces
copper and zinc concentrates from its Canatuan mine and is advancing
its Balabag Gold-Silver project. TVI is a participant/operator in
several joint venture projects in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea
and also has an interest in an offshore Philippine oil property.
ENRICO C. NERA
ASEAN Eng, APEC Eng., MSMEP, MSME-AIME
MAusIMM, CP for Metallurgy PMRC
QP for Metallurgy
The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the
information contained herein.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains certain
forward-looking information (referred to herein as "forward-looking
statements"). Forward-looking statements are often, but not always,
identified by the use of words such as "anticipate", "plan", "intend",
"estimate", "scheduled", "expect", "may", "will", "should", or similar
words suggesting future activities or outcomes. The forward-looking
statements set out in this news release include information relating to
interests that may be earned by TVIRD in the Agata and Pan de Azucar
joint ventures; opportunities for exploration, development and
commercialization of the Agata Mining Project (including the High Fe
and Limestone DSO/Lime Production Facility and the Agata Nickel
Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and
uncertainties that could cause actual events or outcomes to differ
materially from those anticipated or implied by such forward-looking
statements. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited
to: (A) results of further work in pursuing the conceptual planning
described in this news release not supporting current expectations as
to the opportunities outlined; (B) TVIRD not funding the necessary
expenditures at Agata or Pan de Azucar to advance the projects or earn
an interest under the joint venture agreements due to, among other
things (i) changes in TVIRD's strategic priorities, due diligence
findings, changes in laws or regulations affecting mining operations in
the Philippines (including the profitability of such operations), and
other factors, (ii) changes in TVIRD budgets and (iii) limited
availability of funds; (C) a determination on the part of TVIRD not to
pursue projects contemplated by one or more of the joint venture
agreements noted above for technical, economic, legal or other reasons
(including, without limitation, a failure to obtain required permits or
other governmental or regulatory approvals); and (D) certain other
risks identified elsewhere in TVI's public filings, including, without
limitation, those risk factors set forth at pp. 46-52 of TVI's Annual
Information Form dated March 19, 2013. Accordingly, readers should
not place undue reliance upon the forward-looking statements contained
in this news release and such forward-looking statements should not be
interpreted or regarded as guarantees of future outcomes.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made
as of the date hereof and TVI does not undertake any obligation to
update publicly or to revise any of the included forward-looking
statements, except as required by applicable Canadian securities law.
The forward-looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified
by this cautionary statement.
SOURCE: TVI Pacific Inc.
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