VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 31, 2013) - I-Minerals Inc. (TSX VENTURE:IMA)(PINKSHEETS:IMAHF) (the "Company") announces it has received a Potassium Feldspar Market Assessment report from Charles River Associates ("CRA") that indicates a strong market opportunity for high quality / high value potassium feldspar ("K-Spar") products.
As part of the report CRA conducted market research in the United States and Canada to estimate the value-volume relationship for high value K-Spar. CRA compared I-Mineral's MC 220-K potassium feldspar product with three incumbent K-Spar products and a historic product that is no longer available and noted that based upon the lowest silica-alumina ratio, lowest contained iron and one of the highest K20 (potassium oxide) I-Mineral's MC 220-K was the highest quality K-Spar tested. With product pricing being a function of quality of the K-Spar and the fineness of the product grind, CRA stated "Current market conditions are such that there is interest in a new, consistent, high quality supply of K-Spar in the US, specifically I-Minerals."
CRA concluded that customers have quality concerns with the current K-Spar producers and steady price increases over the last several years have created an opportunity for a new higher-quality supply among end users. Imports cannot satisfy the quality void of current domestic suppliers, as the quantities are small and prices extremely high. End users demand product consistency and performance (color and body viscosity). Switching costs allow suppliers of consistent high quality products such as I-Mineral's MC 220-K to realize premium prices.
The study confirmed three principal markets (i) Sanitary Ware where K-Spar is used as a vitreous agent; (ii) Tiles and Ceramics where K-Spar is used in both the body and enamel of tiles and ceramics; (iii) Fillers and Glazes where K-Spar is used with clay as a flux in ceramic bodies and glazes for compositional and surface features.
Subsequent to the receipt of the CRA report the Company has been advised that a ceramics industry trade publication has stated:
…after 57 years of operations, the Monticello plant is targeted for closure on December 31, 2013 because there is no additional available potassium feldspar ore in the area (exact date depends on ore depletion). However a G200 equivalent material imported from Spain will be available in bulk bags and 25 kg bags (for around $350-450 ton plus shipping). These products will be sold from Savannah, GA or Newark, NJ (90 days lead time will be required for orders).
"The results of Charles River study bode very well for the development of our Bovill Kaolin deposit that is a large source of high quality K-Spar in addition to high pure quartz, kaolin and halloysite," commented Thomas Conway, President and CEO of I-Minerals. "We are very confident our Bovill Kaolin project has the resource base and quality to be a dominant player in North American K-spar market and the indications the Monticello plant is targeted for closure only serve to reinforce our believes. All indications are we stand to realize a higher K-Spar price than contemplated in our Prefeasibility Study, which should improve the already strong project economics as we push the project into full Feasibility."
A summary of the report is available on the home page of the Company's website at www.imineralsinc.com.
A. Lamar Long, CPG, is a qualified person ("QP") for I-Minerals Inc. and has reviewed and approved the contents of this release.
About I-Minerals Inc.
I-Minerals is developing the Bovill Kaolin Deposit, part of the larger Helmer-Bovill property. The Bovill Kaolin Deposit, a source of high purity K-Spar and quartz, as well as high aspect ratio halloysite in addition to kaolin, was the subject of a January 2013 Prefeasibility study by SRK Consulting (US) Inc. that estimated the project after tax NPV6 at $150 million, and IRR of 28% with a three year payback on initial capital costs of only $67 million.
Thomas M. Conway, President & CEO
This News Release includes certain "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization and resources, exploration results, and future plans and objectives of the Company are forward looking statements that involve various risks. Actual results could differ materially from those projected as a result of the following factors, among others: changes in the world wide price of mineral market conditions, risks inherent in mineral exploration, risk associated with development, construction and mining operations, the uncertainty of future profitability and uncertainty of access to additional capital.
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This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on assumptions and judgments of management regarding future events or results that may prove to be inaccurate as a result of risk factors beyond its control, and actual results may differ materially from the expected results.