SOCIÉTÉ D'EXPLORATION MINIÈRE VIOR INC., in partnership with ILUKA EXPLORATION (CANADA) LTD., a wholly-owned subsidiary of ILUKA RESOURCES LTD.- is pleased to announce that it has commenced an exploration drilling program consisting of 4 holes totaling 1,200 metres on specific geophysical and geological targets identified on its Foothills Property, located near St-Urbain, 100 km east of Quebec City.
The Foothills project is comprised of 840 map-designated claims over 473 square-kilometers covered by the St-Urbain and the Lac Malbaie Anorthositic Complexes where kilometric trains of rutile-rich ilmenite blocks and fragments were identified. Ilmenite blocks which contain visually significant amounts of rutile minerals have returned assays containing titanium dioxide (TiO2) values ranging from 42.1% to 57.6%, with an average of 52.5%. Many extensive titanium showings were discovered by field prospecting in areas bordering magnetic anomalies generated from the helicopter-borne high-resolution magnetic survey completed during the winter of 2015 and 2016.
The current drilling program on Foothills will be testing coinciding magnetic and gravimetric targets within the St-Urbain anorthosite only, one of the drill targets is characterized by the presence of a cluster of massive ilmenite showings in its vicinity. Additional exploration drilling is also planned on Foothills for 2018.
An 80-line-kilometer ground gravity survey is underway in the western part of the Foothills Project within the Lac Malbaie Anorthositic Complex. This sector is characterized by the presence of rutile-rich ilmenite blocks oriented along a glacial train. The gravity method is a major exploration tool for delineating the signature of massive ilmenite mineralization in anorthositic rocks. The gravity anomalies will be followed up during the field season of 2018.
Pursuant to the terms of the Option Agreement between Vior and Iluka (as amended), Iluka has now met its obligation to fund the initial expenditure amount of $500,000. Accordingly, Iluka now has the right to at any time initiate the unincorporated Joint Venture with Vior where the parties' initial participating interests will be Iluka 51% and Vior 49%. At the time Iluka elects to initiate the Joint Venture, Iluka will also take a 51% registered interest in the exploration claims that are the subject of the Option Agreement. Iluka may earn an additional 39% interest in the Project by funding additional exploration expenditures of $2,200,000 before March 8th, 2019.
In the industry, most of rutile and ilmenite is processed into non-toxic white titanium dioxide pigment for use in the manufacture of paints, plastics, paper, textiles, cosmetics and ceramics. Rutile is also used to produce titanium metal for use in aircraft, spacecraft, surgical implants, motor vehicles and desalination plants (source: Geoscience Australia website).