I-Minerals Inc. reports a 210-ton bulk sample extraction of primary clay from its Bovill Kaolin property. The company is partnering with Ginn Mineral Technologies to plan a pilot plant to batch process the large sample.
The pilot plant’s objectives are two-fold: to analyze the employment of hydro-cyclones for the preliminary clay sand separation on the pilot level and to produce a total of around 12 tons of Hallopure® halloysite for distribution in Germany in the second quarter.
Bench scale testing of the use of hydro-cyclones to make the preliminary sand (quartz+k-spar) and clay (kaolin+halloysite) produced a better clay yield of 30% as compared with a 22% yield produced as part of the pilot plant work related with the Feasibility Study. If the bench scale hydro-cyclone results are scalable to the pilot level the use of hydro-cyclones could yield up to 33% more kaolin and halloysite as compared with the results added in the Feasibility Study. I-Minerals would need to buy the hydro–cyclones for the pilot plant work at a reasonable cost. The results from the separation would then be added into a Front End Engineering Design study, part of the comprehensive engineering in the Capital Cost Estimate in the Feasibility Study.
According to reports from the company's halloysite consultant, Dr. Joachim Schomburg of DURTEC GmbH, numerous companies are advancing their clean tech and life science products and associate intellectual properties towards commercialization. The commercialization process needs pilot level production of these products which in turn needs substantial volumes of halloysite. I-Minerals ULTRA HallopPure® halloysite with its best in class aspect ratio and lack of cristobalite or other contaminants is especially well suited to the life science markets and has few competitors into these high value markets.
This pilot plant is an important step forwards for I-Minerals. We stand to capture additional revenue through increased production of clay minerals and at the same time, exciting high-tech products are being developed using our halloysite. Being formulated as part of the development process should leave us well positioned to be the supplier of choice once we are in commercial production.
Thomas Conway, President and CEO of I-Minerals