Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd. announces that it has come to an agreement to collaborate with Mintek, an internationally recognized metallurgical research and testwork facility in Johannesburg, South Africa, to further develop and optimize the Montero Stage 1 leaching process.
These efforts will yield an improvement in the economics of the Montero process as well as assisting Mintek's program of developing its proprietary technology for the refining and separation of rare earth elements.
Mintek will continue Montero's bulk leach test program at a pilot plant scale to verify and optimize the leaching process already developed by Mintek and Montero for the Wigu Hill Rare Earth Element ("REE") Project. In return, Montero will provide Mintek with a bulk sample from the Wigu Hill Deposit to be used by Mintek as part of Mintek's program to develop its independent, proprietary refining technology for producing individually separated REE products.
Mintek will in effect be conducting two parallel testwork programs - the first specific to the Wigu Hill Deposit and using conventional, non-proprietary refining technology; the second being Mintek's proprietary process in the early stages of development. Mintek will compare the two technologies as part of the program and, if Mintek's proprietary technology offers benefits to Montero, the parties will investigate ways in which Montero might access the Mintek technology.
Through this collaboration with Mintek, Montero expects to get early insight into alternative, innovative refining technologies.
Dr. Tony Harwood, President and CEO of Montero commented, "By collaborating on Mintek's program of developing new and innovative process routes for separating Rare Earth Elements, Montero expects to increase its options to ultimately adopt the refining strategy that extracts maximum value from its REE project. Mintek's proven track record of success in the development of new technologies for the refining of metals, we expect that this development will allow Montero to continue on our strategy to become a low cost Rare Earth producer."