I-Minerals lnc. (TSX VENTURE: IMA) (OTCQB: IMAHF) (FRANKFURT: 61M) (the "Company") is pleased to report it is making strong progress with the Idaho Department of Lands (the "IDL") with respect to its Operation and Reclamation Plan ("ORP"). The Company and the IDL are currently on the third round of amendments (ORP III) with the majority of IDL comments having been settled. Meetings amongst the IDL staff, I-Minerals personnel and its engineering consultants including HDR Engineering, Inc. have identified what outstanding items the IDL believes are necessary to approve the ORP.
On February 21, 2017 I-Minerals gave a presentation to the Idaho State Board of Land Commissioners (Land Board). The Land Board provides oversight and directs the IDL, and the Board is comprised of the following state-wide elected officials; the Governor, the Attorney general, the Secretary of State, the State Controller and the Superintendent of Public Schools. The presentation highlighted the contributions the project is forecast to make to the State Endowment Fund which supports the public education system in Idaho and the creation of numerous good-paying jobs in the Bovill area of north Idaho. Based upon the mineral price deck used in the 2016 Feasibility Study by GBM Engineers, LLC the Company's Bovill Kaolin operation is forecast to contribute over $3 million per year to the State Endowment Fund. In addition, third party EMSI modelling predicts the creation of up to 139 direct and spin-off jobs with average annual earnings per job of almost $53,000, representing an increase of over $7 million in annual direct and indirect payrolls as compared with the status quo.
The Bovill Kaolin operation is a comparatively small, long life, low impact industrial mineral mine that will produce quartz, potassium feldspar, kaolin and halloysite. The project's current operations possess and are therefore subject to a federal Clean Water Act NPDES stormwater permit for "mineral mining," i.e., for non-metal operations. Thus, importantly, the project will not be subject to the more onerous metallic "ore mining and dressing" permit during full project operations. Production is forecast to be about 1,000 tons per day with about 67% of the material extracted being beneficiated into mineral products with the balance reporting to tails. The design includes a closed flotation circuit and dry-stacking of tails that will report to a lined tailings facility as part of a "no discharge" circuit which recycles process-water within the plant.
"The Bovill Kaolin operation is a small mine that we have made great effort to design in as low an impact a fashion as possible," stated Thomas Conway President and CEO of I-Minerals. "I-Minerals is grateful for the opportunity to update the Land Board on our project which we believe brings great benefit to the Endowment Fund and the State. We have always made every effort to respect the concerns of all stakeholders to the Bovill Kaolin Project and look forward to working with the IDL to complete the permitting process."
A. Lamar Long, CPG, is a qualified person ("QP") for I-Minerals Inc. and has reviewed and approved the contents of this release.