Nuinsco Resources Limited ("Nuinsco" or the "Company")today reported that work will commence immediately on a metallurgical program to explore the recovery of pyrochlore in concentrate from its 100%-owned Prairie Lake phosphorus - rare metals project in northwestern Ontario.
Pyrochlore, a niobium-bearing mineral, occurs throughout the Prairie Lake carbonatite complex and constitutes a significant potential economic component to the multi-commodity mineralization of the project. The phosphorus-bearing mineral apatite and rare earth elements ("REEs") in both apatite and rare earth-bearing minerals such as ancylite further demonstrate the potential economic viability of this project which is remarkable also for the scale of the mineralization (currently at 515-630Mt in a 43-101 compliant ETMI) and superb logistics and location.
The niobium test work will be conducted by Corem in Quebec City, the laboratory which has completed other metallurgical test work on the Prairie Lake mineralization. Approximately 300-400kg of material will be used in the tests which will assess the effects of grinding, gravity separation, magnetic separation, flotation and reagents on pyrochlore concentrate production. As part of the study, the potential for a magnetite-iron concentrate will also be examined. The study is expected to take six to eight months to complete.
Widely occurring in the rocks at the Prairie Lake carbonatite complex at a grade of 0.09-0.11% Nb2O5 (from 43-101 compliant ETMI) is the niobium-bearing mineral pyrochlore. The niobium content of the rock at Prairie Lake is sufficiently high to make the production of a niobium by-product a distinct possibility. Niobium is used in structural steels where the addition of small amounts imparts strength. These alloys are principally employed in the automotive industry, where their greater strength allows for lighter structure and improved energy efficiency. Niobium is also used in tubular steels for gas pipelines, while super-alloys containing niobium are widely used in aircraft engines and as bone replacements in medicine. In other applications, niobium is used in the manufacture of high refractive-index lenses and electronic capacitors and in super-conducting niobium-titanium wire used in such devices as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines used in healthcare and particle accelerators, and as catalysts for producing bio-fuels from vegetable crops.
About Prairie Lake
Located about 45 kilometres northwest of Marathon, Ontario, Nuinsco's Prairie Lake property covers the entire 2.8 km2 (at surface) Prairie Lake carbonatite complex and is easily accessible from the TransCanada Highway. In January, 2012, Nuinsco bought back a 2% production royalty making the property royalty-free.
The NI-43-101-compliant ETMI (see news release issued October 26, 2011) is 515 - 630 million tonnes grading between 0.09-0.11% Nb2O5 (0.9 to 1.1 kg/tonne) and 3.0-4.0% P2O5 - making Prairie Lake one of the world's ten largest carbonatite hosted niobium deposits (and in North America second only to the Iron Hill Project in Colorado, USA, in contained tonnes - the grade at Prairie Lake is however greater). The current metallurgical work establishes the project as a substantial, recoverable, phosphorus inventory. The suite of minerals of potentially economic significance also includes tantalum (Ta), uranium (U) and REEs (including lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce), samarium (Sm), neodymium (Nd) and yttrium (Y)). The ETMI was undertaken by Eugene Puritch, P.Eng. and Antoine Yassa, P.Geo of P&E Mining Consultants Inc. of Brampton, Ontario.
All exploration work at Prairie Lake is supervised by Laura Giroux, P.Geo, Senior Geologist, who acts as Nuinsco's Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101. Ms. Giroux has reviewed and approved the technical contents of this news release. The potential quantity and grade of the ETMI is conceptual in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource. It is uncertain if further exploration will result in the discovery of a mineral resource.
Annual and Special Meeting
As a reminder, the Company's Annual and Special Meeting for Shareholders ("ASM") will take place on June 28, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. Toronto Time at the Toronto Board of Trade, 1 First Canadian Place, Toronto, Ontario. The ASM will be webcast and can be accessed at http://www.gowebcasting.com/4421 and through Nuinsco's website at www.nuinsco.ca.