TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 18, 2011) -
NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES OR OVER UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES
Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:MON) ("Montero") has commissioned South African-based research centre, Mintek, to develop a rare earth element (REE) extractive process flow sheet for Montero's flagship Wigu Hill exploration project in Tanzania.
In order to advance the metallurgical and hydro metallurgical studies being performed at the Johannesburg-based research centre, Montero set up an internal research group to evaluate historical REE extractive methodologies, their practicalities, risk factors associated with hydro metallurgy and a techno-economic model to understand the financial implications of the overall extractive processes from mining to refined products.
The laboratory exercises being performed by a joint Montero and Mintek team are focused at understanding the processes required and options available to yield:
||high purity mixed rate earth oxide (MREO) concentrates; and
||individual pure rare earth oxides (REOs).
The Montero-Mintek process flow sheet is designed to maximise recoveries of REOs for the production of a mixed REO intermediate product potentially for sale and also to develop further downstream refining processes to produce pure individual REOs.
Mintek, who is a leader in rare earth metallurgy, has worked for many years on rare earth metallurgy, has patented treatment processes for rare earth production and successfully run pilot plant scale operations over the last 25 years. Mintek has also developed separation and refining processes which were successful at pilot plant level, with the product range including high purity cerium and europium oxides (95% to 98%), neodymium oxide as well as mixtures of light, medium and heavy oxides. Additional treatment and refining processes will be investigated to broaden the product range and increase product purities to suit market requirements.
Dr Tony Harwood, President and CEO of Montero, commented, "Mintek's expertise in mineral processing and metallurgical extraction is key to developing a successful and cost effective process suited to the ore characteristics of the Wigu Hill mineralogy. To date the laboratory scale testwork is progressing in a most satisfactory way and promises to lay the foundation of a process route that we believe could be economically rewarding."
Peter Craven, General Manager Technology of Mintek said, "Mintek is dedicated to using its 75 years of experience in the metallurgical industry to foster commercially attractive enterprises such as the Wigu Hill prospect."
The Wigu Hill carbonatite complex is bastnasite-rich rare earth deposit with exploration to date confirming the presence of high-grade total REO values within carbonatite dykes. No resource has been defined on the Wigu Hill project and early stage exploration is ongoing. Until a mineral resource is defined there is no base on which to evaluate the economic viability of the Wigu Hill project.
The technical information contained in this press release has been reviewed by Mr. Mike Evans, M.Sc. Pr.Sci.Nat., who is a qualified person for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101 and a consulting geologist to Montero.
Mintek, South Africa's national mineral research organisation, is one of the world's leading technology organisations specialising in mineral processing, extractive metallurgy and related areas. Working closely with industry and other R&D institutions, Mintek provides service testwork, process development and optimisation, consulting and innovative products to clients world-wide. Mintek is an autonomous statutory organisation which reports to the South African government's Minister of Mineral Resources.
Mintek offers a complete range of process development services, from preliminary bench-scale investigations to large-scale piloting and integrated flowsheet development in support of bankable feasibility studies. Engineering design, plant construction and commissioning are carried out in conjunction with international partners. Comprehensive laboratory and piloting facilities for sample preparation, milling, flotation, physical separation, smelting, leaching, pressure leaching, and metal recovery and purification are supported by internationally accredited analytical laboratory and mineralogical services.
For further information on Mintek, please visit www.mintek.co.za.
Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd. is a mineral exploration and development company focused on rare earth elements(REEs), uranium and phosphate deposits in Tanzania, Canada and South Africa. Currently China produces 97% of world supply of REEs and these are becoming key to enabling advances in green energy technology and other growing high-tech applications. Montero is funded, has no debt and is committed to the exploration of the Wigu Hill REE project in Tanzania. Our growth strategy includes the development of the Wigu Hill REE project and building a portfolio of high quality REE projects through application, acquisition and exploration, with the aim of bringing these to account by development, production and cash flow. Montero operates in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, focused on share price while adding value to all stakeholders.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT: This news release contains forward-looking information which is not comprised of historical facts. Forward-looking information involves risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events, results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Forward looking information in this news release includes, but is not limited to, Montero's objectives, goals or future plans, and the estimated timing and cost of the exploration of the Wigu Hill Project. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, those risks set out in Montero's public documents filed on SEDAR. Although Montero believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information, which only applies as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Montero disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by law.
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