Matamec Explorations inc.

Matamec Explorations inc.

May 22, 2012 09:17 ET

Matamec Starts Kipawa Deposit Pilot Plants

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - May 22, 2012) - Matamec Explorations Inc. ("Matamec" or the "Company")(TSX VENTURE:MAT) is pleased to announce that the pilot plant operations for its flagship Kipawa rare earth project are on schedule. Both the mineral processing and hydrometallurgical pilot plants will be carried out by mid-2012, meeting the previously announced timeline (see Nov 17, 2011 press release). Matamec has retained SGS Minerals Service in Lakefield, Ontario for this work.

The pilot plant studies will test the two-step Kipawa REE extraction process, now defined at the bench scale, with a larger sample. These studies are a necessary step in defining a workable process at the industrial scale. The tests are required in order to complete a full feasibility study by the end of the first quarter 2013.

The first step, the mineral processing pilot plant consists of crushing and grinding the Kipawa ore to a target size, followed by 2 stages of magnetic separation. This straightforward yet important magnetic separation step can upgrade the %REE of the ore by 2.5-times, into one-third of the original feed mass. Fifteen tonnes of ore are currently being prepared at SGS as feed for the pilot plant, which is expected to produce 5 tonnes of mineral concentrate. The pilot plant is scheduled to start at the end of May.

The second step, which consists of two 5-day hydrometallurgical pilot plants operating at 10 kg/h, will then commence to treat the mineral concentrate. This pilot plant will include continuous acid leaching, solid liquid separation, purification and precipitation steps to generate a purified mixed rare earth concentrate as a final product.

In a related topic, the acid leaching optimisation work for Kipawa has been completed. Lixiviation is now carried out in a one-step, room-temperature leach with a significantly reduced acid dosage of 120 kg/t of concentrate (equivalent to 42 kg/t of head ore). Extraction recoveries are consistently at 91-97% for yttrium, 90-96% for dysprosium and over 88% for HREE. Recent bench testwork has been focused on optimising the purification circuit in preparation for the hydrometallurgical pilot plant tests in early Q3.

Both Matamec and Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) are working together closely and sharing expertise in order to fast track and maximize the value of the Kipawa deposit.

"We continue to be excited by the on-going progress of the metallurgical development for Kipawa," says André Gauthier, Matamec's president. "We are eager to validate our simple, low-cost and robust metallurgical flowsheet in the upcoming pilot plant tests to produce a high purity, heavy RE-enriched product. The pilot plants will be a major milestone in our drive to bring the Kipawa project to production."

Bertho Caron, V-P Project Development & Construction (Eng.) and Eliza Ngai, Metallurgist (P.Eng) are Matamec's Qualified Person for this press release.

About Matamec

Matamec Explorations Inc is a junior mining exploration company whose main focus is in developing the Kipawa deposit and exploring more than 35km of strike length in the Kipawa Alkalic Complex for rare earths-yttrium-zirconium-niobium-tantalum mineralization on its Zeus property.

The company is also exploring for gold, base metals and platinum group metals. Its gold portfolio includes the Matheson JV property located along strike and in close proximity to the Hoyle Pond Mine in the prolific mining camp of Timmins, Ontario.

In Quebec, the Company is exploring for lithium and tantalum on its Tansim property and for precious and base metals on its Sakami, Valmont and Vulcain properties. As well, it is exploring for gold together with Northern Superior Resources Inc. on the Lesperance/Wachigabau property.

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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