/NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION IN THE UNITED STATES OR TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES/
TORONTO, July 7 /CNW/ - Mr. Sidney Himmel, President and CEO of Trigon
Uranium Corp. ("Trigon") (TSXV:TEL) and of Intercontinental Potash Corp.
("ICP" or "the Company") is pleased to provide an update regarding recent work
carried out in respect of the Ochoa Polyhalite Project ("Ochoa") in New
Mexico. Polyhalite is a potash mineral which the Company anticipates will be
developed as slow release, non-chloride, multinutrient potash fertilizer that
can be applied directly and as a potassium sulphate fertilizer.
Ochoa, which is the primary ICP property under investigation, comprises
16 federal prospecting permits covering an area of 36,589 acres located about
20 miles east of Carlsbad, New Mexico. The Company has applied for additional
exploration permits comprising approximately 9,000 acres.
Mr. Himmel, President of ICP stated: "Recent investigations have
confirmed the existence of polyhalite at the Ochoa property and the likely
physical characteristics of the polyhalite as a fertilizer mineral. The
correlation of polyhalite presence with geophysical gamma logs and acoustic
logs has also been confirmed. We have obtained polyhalite core from the
Rustler Formation from historical drilling close to our Ochoa project. The
anticipated results from metallurgical testing of that core will be helpful to
us in establishing agricultural testing procedures and initial views on
processing methods and possible milling costs."
The development concept of Polyhalite as an organic, non-chloride,
slow-release and multi-nutrient fertilizer and potassium sulphate potash
fertilizer is based on early investigations by the United States Department of
Commerce and Bureau of Mines, and also more recent agricultural testing in the
United States and internationally.
Agricultural research testing in greenhouse environments has demonstrated
that Polyhalite may be an effective source of potassium, magnesium, calcium,
and sulphur as plant fertilizer nutrients. ICP has concluded that Polyhalite
has the potential to be developed as a significant new fertilizer which will
provide, on a cost-competitive basis, the same nutrients as currently marketed
langbeinite and with additional beneficial features. As a new fertilizer
product, Polyhalite is comparable to other multi-nutrient potassium
fertilizers such as langbeinite which has approximately one million tons of
sales per year. The langbeinite market evolved over the past few years and
continues to grow internationally. Supplies of langbeinite are currently being
depleted through mining and this may allow for polyhalite being an attractive
alternative for potassium sulphate consumers in the future.
Polyhalite has the advantage, as with potassium nitrate and sulphate
salts, of being free of chlorides that are problematic in arid environments
where accumulation of salts from potassium chloride fertilizers are
deleterious to certain plant species. Furthermore, the slow-release aspect may
result in beneficial delivery characteristics in agricultural environments
where the soils are heavily leached due to high levels of rainfall. Polyhalite
may also be developed as a stand-alone product in the potassium sulphate
market where combined product demand is approximately 6 million tons per year.
Findings from recently completed investigations:
ICP recently completed numerous geological and metallurgical
1. Metallurgical and processing investigation of polyhalite rock
obtained from locations in the vicinity of Ochoa in Lea County, from
the Rustler and Salado Formations that are comparable to polyhalite
beds that underlie the project area under permit.
2. Investigation of rock chip samples from historical oil and gas rotary
drilling on locations in Ochoa.
3. Review of regional oil and gas logs from the Permian Basin within
which Ochoa is located.
4. Review of additional data regarding substantial historical drilling
in the Permian Basin for potash including polyhalite as well as
ICP has completed new drill hole log studies and reviewed detailed
reports of historical potassium drilling in the Permian Basin of west Texas
and southeastern New Mexico. This information has substantially confirmed the
selection of the Ochoa lands as likely large and exploitable deposits. Through
the study of polyhalite rocks from various locations in the vicinity of the
drill program, and examination of Ochoa rock chips, ICP has confirmed that
polyhalite exists in appreciable quantities in the Ochoa permit area. Further,
ICP technical staff has concluded that the thickness trends and continuity
make Ochoa unique from the regional distribution of polyhalite where thinner,
discontinuous beds prevail.
The Company performed a series of tests on polyhalite rock from the
Salado Formation to determine the rock's physical and chemical
characteristics. The polyhalite rock contains minor amounts of halite to
anhydrite depending on the local conditions where the polyhalite was
deposited. The physical liberation of polyhalite in analogous Salado Formation
to Ochoa by size fraction and solubility were tested. It was determined that
upgrading the concentration of such polyhalite concentration can be
accomplished by simple washing. It was also determined that the polyhalite can
occur as both large crystals and as fine grained masses. Further we have
determined that early dissolution of potassium and magnesium is released in a
sustained water bath and that post-bath samples indicate the presence of
slower-to-release polyhalite fractions as well. Thus the fact that polyhalite
can provide potassium, sulphate, and magnesium macronutrients by slow release,
as well as standard "immediate" release, was confirmed from rock samples
obtained in the Salado Formation to the west of the Ochoa occurrence.
ICP further obtained polyhalite core samples from the shallower Rustler
Formation in the vicinity of Ochoa. From these samples, it was confirmed that
the presence of polyhalite can be determined from gamma logs and physical
density logs such as those utilized on the Ochoa permit. X-ray fluorescence
and X-ray diffraction of the lower part of core samples obtained from the
Rustler Formation, north of Ochoa, confirmed 73% to 90% or more polyhalite by
weight across several feet. The upper core samples are currently at the lab
and are also undergoing analyses of textures and mineral phases by microscopy
and by a scanning electron microscope (SEM) before and after the samples are
exposed to moisture. This will be followed by a series of tests on fresh core
to determine the affects of different extractive processes to concentrate
polyhalite and potassium. Results of the latter work should be available in
late July or early August.
Polyhalite in the Potash Markets and Recent Pricing:
ICP believes that it can develop polyhalite as direct-application
multi-nutrient and non-chloride fertilizer potassium mineral. The term
"potash" is commonly limited to the mineral sylvite, which is potassium
chloride. However, "potash" should include all potassium fertilizers including
the nitrates and sulphates. Such potassium sulphate fertilizers include the
mineral Langbeinite, mined in New Mexico at locations close to Ochoa and
distributed internationally, and schoenite which is extracted from
sulphate-rich brines in China and the Great Salt Lake of Utah.
New Mexico is one of the Four Corner States where Trigon has established
expertise in finding potassium sulphate trends of significance in the Permian
Basin. Minor polyhalite trends were also found in the Paradox Basin but these
occurrences lacked the structural suitability necessary for underground mining
as was found at Ochoa in New Mexico. Both The Mosaic Company and Intrepid
Potash produce sylvite and langbeinite from mines in New Mexico where we
understand that the occurrence of polyhalite in their mines is erratic and
non-economic. The potassium sulphate fertilizer market is a proven market with
current world operating capacity of approximately 8 million tonnes.
During 2008 to the spring of 2009, sylvite (potassium chloride), FOB
Vancouver, was quoted in the range of $600 to $1000 with recent quotes in the
range of $800. During the same period potassium sulphate was quoted at
approximately $1000 FOB US Gulf and Europe.
The non-chloride fertilizer products are potassium sulphate and potassium
nitrates. These meet the following demands: (i) chloride sensitive crops which
include most fruits, vegetables, horticultural crops; (ii) tobacco; (iii)
salty and arid soils such as soils in India and North Africa; and (iv) soils
where cultivation is intense and there is therefore a tendency towards
chloride build-up. Salty soils reduce water uptake which is further reduced by
chloride. Arid soils allow for the buildup of chloride which reduces water
uptake and causes toxicity.
Announced Planned Corporate Reorganization of Trigon and Timing of New
Mexico Drill Program:
Trigon recently issued a comprehensive news release announcing the
proposed Reverse Takeover ("RTO") involving an offer to purchase the common
shares of ICP that it does not already own. The process of the RTO requires
that 75% of non-Trigon ICP shareholders tender their shares to the offer. The
completion of the RTO process also requires that the independent shareholders
of Trigon approve the acquisition by way of shareholder vote at a special
meeting of the shareholders. So that required Trigon Information Circular can
be completed on a timely basis, the commencement of the drill program on Ochoa
will be deferred until the completion of the RTO.
The geological aspects of this press release were reviewed by Sean
Muller, P. Geo., and a Qualified Person under NI43-101. Mr. Muller is an
independent contractor who provides technical assistance to ICP in potash
exploration and development.
About Trigon and ICP:
Trigon Uranium Corp. is an exploration and development company focused in
the western and southwestern United States, with operations based in its
Golden, Colorado office. Intercontinental Potash Corp. is a private company
with 37% ownership by Trigon and is involved in the acquisition, exploration,
and development of polyhalite and potash-related minerals in the United States
southwest. The shares of Trigon traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the
Certain information set forth in this news release may contain
forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks
and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous
risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the control of Trigon and
ICP, including, but not limited to, the impact of general economic conditions,
industry conditions, dependence upon regulatory and shareholder approvals, the
execution of definitive documentation and the uncertainty of obtaining
additional financing. Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the
preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of
preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not
be placed on forward-looking statements. Trigon does not assume any obligation
to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events, or otherwise.
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 ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.
For further information:
For further information: please visit www.trigonuraniumcorp.com or
www.intercontinentalpotash.com or contact: Trigon Uranium Corp., Sidney
Himmel, President and CEO, Toronto, Ontario, T: (416) 624-3781,