i-minerals inc.

i-minerals inc.

December 01, 2010 12:33 ET

i-minerals inc. Announces Positive Results of the Preliminary Economic Assessment Study of its Primary Clay Project in Latah County, Idaho USA

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2010) - i-minerals inc. (TSX VENTURE:IMA)(PINK SHEETS:IMAHF) -

  • US$96 million NPV
  • 48% IRR
  • Total Life of Mine Capital costs $22.5 million
  • 38.4 million short tons of resources
  • 50+ year mine life with 0.26:1 strip ratio
  • 2 year estimated payback

i-minerals inc. (TSX VENTURE:IMA)(PINK SHEETS:IMAHF) ("the Company") is pleased to announce estimated inferred Mineral Resources of 38.4 million short tons and the accompanying results of its Preliminary Economic Assessment Study ("PEA") for its Helmer-Bovill property Primary Clay deposits. The PEA covers the second of two deposits of economic interest located on the Company's wholly-owned Helmer-Bovill property in Latah County, Idaho, USA. The first deposit of economic interest, Kelly's Basin, was the subject of the Preliminary Feasibility Study announced November 3, 2010 which estimated the NPV6 of Kelly's Basin at US$61 million. The PEA supporting the Mineral Resource estimate presented in this press release was managed by SRK Consulting (US) Inc. ("SRK") in Lakewood, Colorado, who also completed the Mineral Resource estimation. Tetra Tech ("TT") was commissioned by the Company to complete environmental, geotechnical, and site reclamation engineering and design. Roberts & Schaefer ("R&S) was commissioned to complete the design for the planned processing and product packaging facilities. 

Dr. Bart Stryhas constructed the geologic and resource model reported below. He is responsible for the resource estimation methodology and the resource statement. Dr. Stryhas is independent of the issuer applying all of the tests in Section 1.4 of NI 43-101. 

The PEA is being completed by SRK, TT, and R&S and will be filed on SEDAR (at www.sedar.com) in its entirety as required. All values presented in this press release are in US imperial units and 4Q 2010 US dollars.

Statement of Mineral Resources

The Mineral Resources are reported in Table 1 at a cut-off grade of 20% clay. The clay is comprised of an aggregate; halloysite, kaolin, and metakaolin with a weighted average product price of US$378 per ton. Potentially economic concentrations of quartz and K-spar are also contained in the Primary Clays, but are not incorporated into the resource estimate or economic analysis. 

Table 1: Statement of Mineral Resources, i-minerals' Primary Clay Project (as of 30 November 2010)

Resource Area Inferred Resource (kst) Waste (kst) Total Material (kst)
WBL Pit 2,228 947 3,175
Middle Ridge 6,667 1,861 8,528
Kelly's Hump 3,958 1,184 5,142
Scablands 25,549 5,821 31,370
  Total Resource 38,402 9,813 48,215
  1. Resources assume 100% mining recovery at 0% dilution. LoM Stripping ratio for WBL Primary Clay deposit is 0.26st waste:1.00st ore. 
  2. Resource is based on Loss on 20% primary clay cut-off grade. Primary clays are halloysite and kaolinite
  3. Primary Clay tons are based on consolidated mass recovery of 23.6%. 

Results of the Preliminary Assessment

The PEA assumed a weighted average price of primary clay products - halloysite, kaolin, and metakaolin - of $378/ton as supported by a market study completed by i-Minerals. Resources can support a mine life of well in excess of 50 years; however initial indicative economics were performed assuming a 25+-year market for primary clay products. Production highlights are tabulated below.

Table 2: Production Highlights

Parameter Value
Mineral Resources 38,402 kst
Primary Clay Production 1,430 kst
Average Annual Production Rate 239 kst
Process Throughput Rate (nominal) 900 tons ore per day
Overall (all products) Process Recovery 23.6%
Stripping Ratio (waste:ore) 0.26
Mine Life (market limited) 25+ years

On an after-tax basis, technical-economics indicate an NPV6% of US$96million with an IRR of 48%. Payback will occur 2 years from the start of production. Economic results are summarized below.

Table 3: Economic Results1

Description LoM Value (US$000s) Unit Cost (US$/ton product
Gross Revenue $530,000 $378.00
  Marketing ($2,000) ($1.50)
  Royalties (3% sales) ($16,000) ($11.50)
Gross Income $512,200 $365.00
  Mining Costs ($68,000) ($48.50)
  Processing Costs ($70,000) ($50.00)
  G&A Costs ($6,000) ($4.50)
Operating Costs ($144,000) ($103.00)
  Mine Capital ($1,400) -
  Process Capital ($14,400) -
  Tailings Capital ($4,600) -
  Owner Capital ($2,100) -
LoM Capital ($22,500) -
  Taxes ($126,900) -
Subtotal Capital & Tax ($149,400) -
CASH FLOW $218,700 -
NPV6% $95,700 -
IRR 48% -
1 Differences in totals and subtotals are due to rounding, and are not material to the results presented. 

i-minerals' Primary Clay Project is an advanced stage development project located in north-central Idaho. The primary clay resources together with the Kelly's Basin deposits represent the largest deposits of high quality feldspar, quartz, kaolin and halloysite in the Western United States. This preliminary 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 such resources to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the preliminary assessment will be realized.

"The results of the Primary Clay PEA together with our previously release Preliminary Feasibility Study on the Kelly's Basin Deposit provide the first independent valuation of our mineral assets. While there remains additional drilling and metallurgical work to do to advance i-minerals' Primary Clay, we believe there is significant opportunity to optimize the product mix and therefore improve the cash flows through recovering the minerals in the feldspathic sands that are not considered in this Preliminary Economic Analysis," commented Roger Kauffman, President and CEO of i-minerals inc., "We believe we are well on our way to defining robust long term mineral assets that will be of great benefit both to i-minerals shareholders and Idaho stakeholders." 

The Company has granted directors, employees and consultants a total of 500,000 options having an exercise price of $0.40 and a term of five years in accordance with the Company's Stock Option Plan.

i-minerals inc.

per: "Roger Kauffman"

Roger Kauffman,
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.

Neither the 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 news release.

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