January 30, 2020 (Source) – Search Minerals Inc. (TSXV: SMY) (“Search” or the “Company”) is pleased to present the Company’s plans to position our rare earth element (REE) project in the North American REE supply chain. Search has a Critical REE District that currently consists of 43-101 resources at DEEP FOX and FOXTROT. Search has also completed 2 continuous pilot plants which each have produced a 99% high purity mixed rare earth concentrate. The last step to enter the REE supply chain is to separate our mixed rare earth concentrate into the individual oxides. Solvent extraction is the traditional successful method to carry out this separation process.
Our goals and objectives for 2020, subject to financing, include the following:
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES FOR 2020
- Evaluate further separation and refining processes to produce individual rare earth oxides for entry into the rare earth supply chain
- Continue and support Canadian and US government collaboration efforts to establish a North American REE earth supply chain;
- Update capital and operating costs for the processing facility, using information from successful pilot plant operations;
- Design a 1/100th scale demonstration plant to be built on site in St. Lewis, Labrador;
- Complete 3000m Phase III drill program of Deep Fox to test for extension of the resource;
- Continue channel sampling program at Fox Meadow to make this prospect drill ready;
- Further exploration on Silver Fox and Awesome Fox projects.
Greg Andrews, President and CEO of Search Minerals states, “We are very encouraged with the recent Canada and US collaboration announcements, the US Department of Defense request for funding proposals. Search has participated in the process outlined by Defense Protection Act (Title III), as Canadian projects are considered a Domestic Source, and are eligible to apply for these funding initiatives. Search continues to provide information under these US led funding programs.
“Search has become more than a mining story; it is a story about our possible role in the REE supply chain. Our pilot plants have produced a high purity mixed rare earth concentrate which allows Search to test commercial routes to rare earth separation. The expanding Electric Vehicle (EV), wind turbine, and other green and clean technology markets, validates the need for our rare earth oxides. The European REE supply chain also needs developing; Search can play a significant role there as well.”
The preliminary economic assessment is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the preliminary economic assessment will be realized. The preliminary economic assessment includes the results of an economic analysis of mineral resources. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability
Evaluating Processing Facility Capital and Operating Costs
We have completed two pilot plant operations at SGS Canada to optimize our proprietary direct extraction process and have produced a 99% high purity mixed rare earth oxide concentrate. Samples of this concentrate are being used to test either the proven solvent extraction process or new separation technologies. We are engaging our engineering consultants to use the information from our successful pilot plant operations for internal purposes only. The report will provide management with a better understanding of the updated capital and operating costs of a processing facility. The new information includes increased recoveries, improved modifications to the flow-sheet and modified reagents usage; each with the goal to reduce capital and operating costs.
Design 1/100 scale demonstration Plant
Our engineers will be engaged to design and cost a 1/100th scale demonstration plant to be built on site in St. Lewis, Labrador. This report will be used internally to facilitate any government funding initiatives. The design will use the updated capital and operating costs for a full scale processing facility. The demonstration plant will be used to produce additional high quality REO concentrate for separation testing, training purposes, and further optimization of the flowsheet. The anticipated cost of the demonstration plant will be approximately $ 10M ($CDN). We expect a significant portion of this funding from various Canadian and U.S. government agencies and collaboration partners; all looking to build and establish a North American REE supply chain.
Complete 3000m Phase III drill program of Deep Fox
The current Deep Fox resource (see Search Minerals News Release Oct 1, 2019) is based on the 5000m Phase I and Phase II drilling programs ($1,000,000 total cost). This resource is based on drilling to the 100m level. The 3000m Deep Fox Phase III drill program ($600,000 expected cost) is designed to delineate the resource below the 100m level. We expect to access flow-through funding for this drill program, which should commence by mid year of 2020.
Continue channel sampling program at Fox Meadow to make prospect drill ready
Preliminary UAV (drone) magnetometer data indicates that the Critical Rare Earth Element (CREE) mineralization at FOX MEADOW is up to 650 m long. When the additional channelling, totalling 310m in 6 channels, is compiled with previous channels (see Search Minerals News Release, March 14, 2019) the mineralized zone appears to have a strike length of at least 625m and a width of up to 124m. We will continue our channel program with the expectation to have Fox Meadow drill ready for the 2021 drill season.
Continue with Silver Fox and Awesome Fox exploratory work
Further channel sampling will take place at Silver Fox and Awesome Fox prospects as part of our 2020 Exploration program. This exploration work will depend on upcoming assay and UAV results that should be available in the near future.
Dr. Randy Miller, Ph.D., P.Geo, is the Company’s Vice President, Exploration, and Qualified Person (as defined by National Instrument 43-101) who has supervised the preparation of and approved the technical information reported herein. The company will endeavour to meet high standards of integrity, transparency, and consistency in reporting technical content, including geological and assay (e.g., REE) data.
About Search Minerals Inc.
Led by a proven management team and board of directors, Search is focused on finding and developing resources within the emerging Critical Rare Earth Element (“CREE”) District of South East Labrador. The Company controls a belt 70 km long and 8 km wide including its 100% interest in the FOXTROT and DEEP FOX Projects, which are road accessible and at tidewater. Exploration efforts have advanced “Fox Meadow” as a new CREE prospect very similar to and in close proximity to FOXTROT and DEEP FOX. The FOXTROT Project has a capital cost to bring the initial project into production ($152 M), a short payback period and is scalable due to Search’s proprietary processing technology.
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Cautionary Statement Regarding “Forward-Looking” Statements:
This news release includes certain “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States securities legislation including the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, without limitation, statements relating the future operating or financial performance of the Company, are forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “potential”, “possible”, and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions, or results “will”, “may”, “could”, or “should” occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements in this news release relate to, among other things, technical results from the Company’s drilling program and closing of the Offering. Actual future results may differ materially. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Forward-looking statements reflect the beliefs, opinions and projections on the date the statements are made and are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by the respective parties, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and the parties have made assumptions and estimates based on or related to many of these factors. Such factors include, without limitation, the risk that the Company is not able to find suitable investors for the Offering or does not receive the approval of TSX Venture Exchange. Readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this news release concerning these times. Except as required by law, the Company does not assume any obligation to update the forward-looking statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change.