Nuinsco Resources Limited today reported that additional phosphorus concentrate will be produced from apatite-bearing rock obtained from its 100%- owned Prairie Lake phosphorus - rare metals project in northwestern Ontario.
Excellent metallurgical results obtained to date provide support for the additional testing whereby apatite concentrate will be produced for evaluation of agricultural and industrial applications.
The additional test work and concentrate production is being conducted by COREM in Quebec City and will aim to optimize mineral liberation, improve apatite flotation technology and upgrade the apatite flotation concentrate. This work is part of on-going evaluation of the project that also includes studies to develop a resource from the existing 515-630 million tonne NI 43-101-compliant Exploration Target Mineralization Inventory ("ETMI") produced in 2011, development of the opportunity for niobium concentrate production and identification of commercial markets for Prairie Lake phosphorus mineralization including fertilizers and detergents which are the number one and two end-use markets for phosphates worldwide according to Global Industry Analysts, Inc. in its recently published report titled "Phosphates: A Global Strategic Business Report."
"Prairie Lake is a unique and very attractive property," said Paul Jones, President. "Not only does it have tremendous scale, but its proximity to existing infrastructure and transportation networks, the relative ease with which it could be exploited from surface using quarry methods, the continuing potential for expansion of the known mineralization and favourable phosphorus metallurgy all point to Prairie Lake being a very valuable asset within Nuinsco's property portfolio, particularly given that more than 80% of the world's known phosphate reserves are located in the politically-troubled Middle East North Africa region countries."
Tests to date have produced a concentrate grade up to 34.4% phosphorus (P2O5) with acceptable levels of other elements demonstrating potential to produce a saleable concentrate using industry-standard processing methods. Results of previous metallurgical testing (by COREM) continue to indicate the ability to improve both recovery and concentrate grade.
The most recent results were produced from a series of tests conducted on a 1,000kg sample grading 3.18% P2O5 (and 0.13% niobium ("Nb2O5") with a specific gravity of 2.99 g/cc and a bulk density of 1.59 g/cc (after crushing to -1.7mm). Apatite is the phosphorus-bearing mineral in a rock that also contains calcite, dolomite, biotite, magnetite and rutile. The apatite contains on average 43.1% P2O5 and occurs in the form of clear, well- formed crystals up to 250 ìm in size. The primary use of apatite is in the manufacture of fertilizer but it also has important industrial applications. The fact that this mineral can be liberated by conventional methods is a further indication that a viable phosphorus concentrate can be produced that would be marketable to the fertilizer industry as well as other potential uses.