I-Minerals Inc. announces that it has received preliminary melt tests from a major international glass manufacturer that indicates the I-Minerals quartz Q1, Q2 and Q3 products compared very favorably to a proven commercial low iron sand that is used in the production of rolled, float and solar glass.
The I-Minerals samples were found to perform as good as or better than the proven low iron sand in the melt test. In particular, the melt from I-Minerals products was almost colourless as compared with a slightly greener colour displayed by the glass produced from the proven sand.
The lesser coloration in the glass produced from the I-Minerals quartz allows for higher light transmission, which in turn leads to higher efficiencies in solar panels produced from colourless, higher light transmission glass. It follows that the initial melt test results indicate I-Minerals quartz has very desirable properties for the manufacture of glass used in production of solar panels which is expected to be a strong selling point going forward. In addition the I-Minerals samples did demonstrate easier melting in comparison to the proven sand, but representatives of the glass manufacturer cautioned that the easier melting may be due to the fine particle size of the materials given they were from bench scale production.
The Q1 to Q3 samples with total impurities ranging from 440 to 189 parts per million were found to be exceptionally pure, having little present except SiO2. The melt test is essentially a comparative method to understand the time and energy that are required to form glass from the material, so requires knowledge of the properties of an existing material to compare against. The standard against which I-Minerals products was compared is one of the highest quality glass making sands in the world.
"Our prior analytical work had shown that we can readily produce high purity quartz products of up to 99.981% SiO2 through standard flotation techniques widely used throughout the mining industry," stated Thomas Conway, President and CEO of I-Minerals. "This latest series of melt tests demonstrate that these high purity quartz products are well suited for solar glass and similar applications."