VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - October 06, 2016) - I-Minerals Inc. (TSX VENTURE: IMA) (OTCQB: IMAHF) ("I-Minerals" or the "Company") is pleased to announce marketing personnel recently attended the Natural Pozzolan-New Pozzolan Symposium/Demonstration (the "Symposium/Demonstration") held in Corona, CA on October 4th & 5th, 2016. The purpose of the Symposium/Demonstration was to showcase natural pozzolans to the California Department of Transport (CalTrans). Natural pozzolans are one of many supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) which contribute to the properties of hardened concrete through hydraulic or pozzolanic activity. In the past CalTrans has relied primarily on fly ash as an SCM for its infrastructure projects. However, good quality fly ash (the ash which remains when coal is burned to generate electricity) is becoming increasingly harder to source as less electricity is generated using coal as the heat source and only certain ashes are acceptable for use in concrete. The lack of availability of qualified SCMs has caused delays to some CalTrans projects with such delays having adverse budget impacts.
I-Minerals has developed a natural pozzolan known as Bovill Metakaolin that is produced by calcining (heating to about 900°C) kaolin, one of the four mineral products produced from the Helmer Bovill property. Metakaolin is one of the best performing SCMs and consequently can be used in smaller quantities than fly ash and still generate as good or better results. Testing has also shown metakaolin to be a more consistent pozzolan than other natural pozzolans such as pumice. I-Minerals is uniquely positioned as it is the only potential new producer of metakaolin outside of the Georgia Clay Belt.
Cement manufacturing produces CO2 as it requires very high temperatures to burn raw materials and give the clinker (used in cement production) its unique properties. SCM's are partial substitutes for cement and therefore reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- and California has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
"As coal fired power plants get converted to natural gas or otherwise shut down, the shortage of SCMS is only going to increase," stated Thomas Conway, President and CEO of I-Minerals. "The situation in California is not unique as we are aware of similar shortages of quality SCMs in Colorado, Oregon and elsewhere. When our metakaolin production volumes as detailed in our Feasibility Study are contrasted with SCM demand in states close to our Bovill, Idaho operations, we could easily sell out our entire metakaolin production to one concrete company in one state. Metakaolin is one of four co-products targeted for production at our Helmer-Bovill property and with minimal other metakaolin production in the Western US, the opportunities are exciting."
It was noted at the Symposium/Demonstration that as fly ash has been the prime SCM for concrete in California since the 1960s, few people within the California concrete industry including government officials have experience using Natural Pozzolans within concrete; yet, Natural Pozzolans will most likely fill the SCM gap created by the shrinking and erratic supply of Class F fly ash which is imported into the State. CalTrans only accepts SCM's that are on the Authorized Cementitious Materials list -- if an SCM is required in the concrete mix. I-Minerals is now taking the initial steps towards getting Bovill Metakolin on CalTrans Authorized Cementitious Materials list.
About I-Minerals Inc.
I-Minerals is developing multiple deposits of high purity, high value halloysite, quartz, potassium feldspar and kaolin at its strategically located Helmer-Bovill property in north central Idaho. A 2016 Feasibility Study on the Bovill Kaolin Deposit led by led by GBM Engineers LLC, who were responsible for overall project management and the process plant and infrastructure design, including OPEX and CAPEX calculated an After Tax NPV of US$249.8 million with a 25.8% After Tax IRR of 25.8%. Initial CAPEX was estimated at $108.3 million with a 3.7 year After Tax payback . Other engineering services were provided by HDR Engineering, Inc. (all environmental components; hydrology / hydrogeology; road design); Tetra Tech, Inc. (tailings storage facility design); Mine Development Associates (mine modelling; ore scheduling; mineral reserve estimation); and SRK Consulting (U.S.) Inc. (mineral resource estimation). Permitting work with the State of Idaho is well underway.
per: "Thomas M. Conway"
Thomas M. Conway,
President & CEO
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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.