DNI METALS INC. (DNI : TSX-Ven)(DG7 : Frankfurt)
TORONTO, March 19, 2012 /CNW/ - DNI Metals Inc. (DNI:TSX-Ven)(DG7:FSE) is pleased to announce encouraging preliminary results from its ongoing R&D work testing extraction (leaching) of metals from its Alberta polymetallic black shales using CO2 as a leaching agent.
DNI carried out a series of batch reaction experiments in 2010 to assess the CO2 uptake potential of its Alberta polymetallic black shales. The tests were conducted by Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF - formerly the Alberta Research Council).
The experiments were intended to collect baseline data relating to CO2-shale chemical interaction from a series of tests which essentially entailed sparging (bubbling) of CO2 through samples of DNI's polymetallic black shale in a dilute electrolyte. An incidental discovery of this work was that metals contained in the black shale are partly solubilized (extracted from the shale) by the mild acidic conditions created by addition of CO2 to the shale.
Further tests conducted in 2011-2012 focused on assessing the potential of relying on CO2 as a pretreatment to bioleaching which has to date been the principal process being assessed by DNI for extraction of metals from its Alberta polymetallic black shales. Samples were tested over a 192 hour period, consisting of an initial 96 hours of equilibration with the mild electrolyte and subsequent 96 hours of CO2 sparging. Of 54 elements monitored, metal recovery was assessed for 11 elements (As, Co, Cd, Li, Mo, Ni, Sb, Se, U, V and Zn).
While, as expected, metals recoveries reported by the CO2 sparging tests are lower than those reported from DNI's bioleaching testwork (previously announced), the current experiments demonstrate that CO2 can be used to leach metals from the black shales, supporting a proposal that leaching with CO2 offers previously unrecognized possibilities as a pretreatment during bioleaching to reduce reagent consumption. Metal recoveries reported by the CO2 sparging tests ranged 0.1% to 10.5% as follows: Mo-9.8%, Ni-3.3%, U-10.5%, V-0.1%, Zn-0.3%, Co-2.3%, Cd-0.8%, Li-5.7%.
The tests suggest that lower metal recoveries documented during the CO2 sparging are likely due to the mild acidic pH conditions generated by the CO2 (pH ~5.6) compared to higher acidities (pH ~1.6-2) typifying bioleaching testwork. It is of particular note that initial equilibration of shale samples in the mild electrolyte resulted in partial dissolution and recovery of metals (except Cd,V,Zn), an observation which is consistent with proposals from other testwork unrelated to the CO2 tests that the metals in the shale are not hosted within other minerals but rather occur as readily extractable charged ions adsorbed on clays in the shale (see DNI press Jan16/2012).
In a statement, Mr.S.Sabag, DNI's president & CEO, commented: "…the possibility of relying on CO2 as a partial leaching agent is an entirely new development and an exciting CO2 consumption sidebar to an otherwise metal mining story which might benefit adjacent oil sands operations by providing a practical use for CO2 emitted and captured from oil sands processing. This new development is synergistic with Provincial and industry led carbon capture and sequestration initiatives in the region".
DNI plans to broaden the above testwork per recommendations of the above study to expand on current findings. Considerable additional data are also on hand from the tests which might enable calculation of percentages of REE and Specialty Metals also extracted during the CO2 sparging testwork. Additional results will be announced at a later date once the data have been processed.
DNI also announces that it has retained the services of Mr.Dean Nawata, in the capacity of corporate development consultant, to introduce its projects to strategic institutional groups. Mr.Nawata has over eighteen years of public market experience, nine of which as a licensed stockbroker focusing on financing of junior mining and oil/gas projects with Nesbitt Burns, Research Capital and, most recently, Raymond James (formerly Goepel McDermid). Mr.Nawata has also worked for several TSX andTSX:V listed companies in project procurement, corporate development and financing. The retainer arrangement is for a six month period which may be extended thereafter by mutual consent, and entails payment of a $5,000 monthly fee in addition to grant of stock options for the purchase of up to 100,000 shares of DNI at 55 cents per share until February 9, 2017. The options will vest in stages over twelve months with no more than one quarter vesting in any three month period, and upon termination of the retainer may be exercised in whole or in part during a period commencing on the earlier of the date of such termination and ending thirty days thereafter, or on the expiry date.
The Qualified Person in connection with this press release is S.F.Sabag P.Geo, DNI's president and CEO, who has reviewed analytical results and is responsible for preparation of this press release. See Alberta Mineral Assessment Report MIN20100017 for an overview of sparging test procedures. CO2 sparging tests carried out by AITF on a subsample from composite drill core intercept of the Second White Speckled black shale in DNI hole 11BK1 from the Buckton inferred resource. Analytical work carried out by Actlabs, Ancaster, Ontario, by ICP-MS, ICP-MS(HYDRGEO), and ICP-OES.
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We seek Safe Harbour. This announcement includes forward looking statements. While these statements represent DNI's best current judgment, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to vary, including risk factors listed in DNI's Annual Information Form and its MD&As, all of which are available from SEDAR and on its website.
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