Firestone Ventures Inc.

Firestone Ventures Inc.

November 16, 2011 06:30 ET

Firestone Ventures Provides Update and Overview on Metallurgical Testwork on Firestone's Torlon Hill Zinc-Lead-Silver Deposit

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 16, 2011) - Firestone Ventures Inc. ("Firestone") (TSX VENTURE:FV)(FRANKFURT:F5V) is pleased to provide an update and overview on its metallurgical testwork on material from Firestone's Torlon Hill zinc-lead-silver deposit in Guatemala, Central America.

"We note that Guatemala will have a new President taking office in the New Year. We look forward to working with the new administration in developing our zinc projects in a socially and environmentally responsible manner," says Lori Walton, President of Firestone Ventures Inc. "Besides advancing several of our new zinc discoveries in Guatemala to the drill-ready stage, we have been diligently evaluating metallurgical testwork on zinc material from the Torlon Hill deposit."

Metallurgical Overview and Update

Firestone has conducted extensive preliminary metallurgical testwork on mineralized material from Torlon Hill (see news releases Sept. 17, 2008, Dec. 10, 2008 and March 4, 2011). Laboratories engaged include SGS Lakefield, Canada; Process Research Associates Ltd., Canada; MetaLeach Limited, Australia; Engitec Technologies, Italy; and the Department of Materials Engineering of University of British Columbia, Canada. Testwork completed includes detailed mineralogical studies and encompasses a range of different processing methods. These include dense media separation, flotation and zinc leaching utilizing different techniques and reagents, including AmmLeach®.

As a result and after detailed review, Firestone is in discussions with Alexander Mining plc ("Alexander") on proposals for further bench-scale work, column testing and a demonstration test plant designed to further test the AmmLeach® process. The AmmLeach® process was developed by MetaLeach Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Alexander) and is a proprietary ammonia-based process for leaching metal from high acid consuming carbonate-hosted ores. The key proprietary step is a tailored pre-treatment of the ore prior to leaching. The AmmLeach® process was selected as the most promising option to pursue for Torlon Hill based on very encouraging test results to date and the following factors:

  • Ability to produce a high value (clean zinc oxide) cost-effective product without large electrical energy requirements (as necessary for production of zinc metal). Production of zinc metal remains an option to consider in the future, especially with increased zinc ore/concentrate feed.
  • Ambient temperature and pressure process using conventional equipment with extremely low reagent consumption compared to acid.
  • Generally "scalable" process that does not require large throughputs for capital efficiency.
  • Environmentally clean option with no acid mine drainage problems, and negligible air emissions and recycling of almost all reagents.
  • Efficient mining scenario with Torlon zinc-lead-silver mineralization being on or near surface and high-grade (10.55% Zn-Eq).
  • The AmmLeach® process shows promising results on both smithsonite and hemimorphite – carbonate and silicate zinc ore minerals common on Firestone's properties.
  • Can potentially accommodate concentrate feed from Firestone's other zinc occurrences in Guatemala.

Alexander Mining – AmmLeach® technology

Leaching of eleven selected representative samples from Torlon Hill with average head grade assays of ≥6.99% zinc showed that the average zinc dissolution using AmmLeach® was 79% and potentially high recoveries of >75% should be achievable. In addition, AmmLeach® amenability tests on Firestone's drill core samples from the Quetzal zinc-lead-silver property produced encouraging results. It is anticipated that recoveries could further be improved by optimization of the leaching circuit.

Zinc-Lead-Silver Exploration Update

Regional and property scale exploration fieldwork is progressing on Firestone's 700 sq km of land holdings extending across a 250 km historical carbonate-hosted zinc-lead-silver district in Guatemala. Scant modern exploration has taken place despite the historical mining of numerous oxide and sulphide zinc occurrences on surface. Firestone drilled the first of several compelling zinc properties in 2010 (see news release on Quetzal project, June 24, 2010) and is advancing several other properties, including the new La Luna project, to the drill ready stage.

In western Guatemala, Firestone is advancing its 100% owned, road-accessible Torlon Hill zinc-lead-silver project in Guatemala, Central America. The combined Measured and Indicated Resource totals 1,891,636 tonnes grading 7.32% zinc, 2.41% lead and 14.25 g/t silver (at a 3% zinc-equivalent cut-off). An additional 169,705 tonnes is classified as Inferred resources grading 4.42% zinc, 1.96% lead and 12.53 g/t silver (see news release Nov. 18, 2008). In addition, there is a basal zone of unoxidized sulphide mineralization which is not yet well defined by the drilling to date. The deposit is open to expansion and high-grade zinc oxide mineralization defined to date is on or near surface. Smithsonite (ZnCO3) is the prevalent zinc mineral at Torlon Hill, occurring as a replacement to limestone and resulting in high grade mineralization locally exceeding 40% zinc. Other non-sulphide zinc minerals are relatively rare and there is no evidence of deleterious zinc-clay minerals such as sauconite. Firestone is dedicated to developing and maintaining supportive community and government relationships at Torlon Hill and in Guatemala.

This news release may contain forward looking statements, being statements which are not historical facts, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization, exploration results, resource or reserve estimates, anticipated production or results, sales, revenues, costs, "best-efforts" financings or discussions of future plans and objectives. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove accurate. Such statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations are in Company documents filed from time to time with the TSX Venture Exchange and provincial securities regulators, most of which are available at The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to revise or update such statements unless required by law.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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