Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd

Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd

February 01, 2012 09:30 ET

Montero Confirms That Rare Earth Dike Mineralization From Wigu Hill is Amenable to Upgrading by X-Ray Sorting With Over 80% Recovery

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 1, 2012) - Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:MON) ("Montero") announces that preliminary X-Ray sorting tests done on bastnaesite rich samples and associated waste rock samples from the Twiga Zone have indicated that the ore is amenable to X-Ray sorting, upgrading the sample by 55% (based on Lanthanum ("La") and Cerium ("Ce") content) while recovering more than 80% of the Rare Earth Elements ("REEs") in the feed. Together with Mintek, Montero has been active in mineral processing and metallurgical testwork to test the Wigu Hill carbonatite material for recovery of Rare Earths. Mintek have over 25 years of Rare Earth experience working on research and testwork programs developing economic process routes for various Rare Earth materials.

Dr. Tony Harwood, President and CEO of Montero commented, "The results of the RADOS XRF Ore Sorter Phase 1 testwork completed by Mintek have provided us with a greater confidence in the ability to selectively mine higher grade material from the Twiga Zone at Wigu Hill. Additionally, testwork has the potential to upgrade run-of-mine material and reduce acid consumers through the sorter's ability to reject the waste material. This is a corner stone in keeping the process of mining and processing of the rare earth mineralisation as simple and low cost, encouraging our fast track mine to market strategy."

Hand-picked rock samples of varied geological and mineralogical composition were sent to the Mintek metallurgical facility in South Africa from the Twiga Zone at Wigu Hill for testing with the RADOS XRF Ore Sorter. The objective was to establish if the X-Ray sorter is able to identify the variation of the REE content. Samples were individually analysed, identifying material with greater than 10% TREO, 6-9% TREO and material with other geological compositions with lesser REE content and barren waste wall rock material. The numbers of fluorescent photons corresponding to the characteristic energies for Rare Earth Elements ("REEs") were plotted and this was then used as the criteria to differentiate high-grade material from the waste or REE barren material as seen in the chart below.

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The chart shows the results from the preliminary sort of 100 samples based on their Lanthanum and Cerium content. It has been established that the RADOS XRF Ore Sorter machine can differentiate between REE barren, low-grade and high grade particles. The La+Ce/Ns values are plotted for each particle. (La+Ce) as referenced in the chart represents the number of fluorescent photons corresponding to the characteristic energy for (La+Ce) with (Ns) being the number of backscattered x-rays.

A preliminary sort test run was completed where the samples were put through the RADOS XRF Ore Sorter to separate the material into a concentrate of high-grade material and discarded material. Partcilces from each stream were chemically analysed to quantify the separation. The results indicated that the RADOS XRF Ore Sorter was able to upgrade the sample by 55% (looking at La and Ce content) while recovering more than 80% of the REEs in the feed. The results indicate that a significant amount of carbonate waste material is removed and therefore the unwanted Ca, Mg and Fe contaminants are reduced in the final concentrate. See table below:

Discrete Grades (%)
Mass (g) Mass % La Ce Ca Fe Mn Sr Ba Mg Si
Discard 4120 48% 1.03 1.13 18.51 3.82 1.27 3.01 0.63 5.40 2.42
Concentrate 4444 52% 4.20 4.42 13.79 1.99 0.66 7.40 2.49 2.36 10.70
Feed 8564 100% 2.68 2.84 16.06 2.87 0.96 5.29 1.59 3.82 6.72
Discrete Recovery
Mass (g) Mass % La Ce Ca Fe Mn Sr Ba Mg Si
Discard 4120 48% 19% 19% 55% 64% 64% 27% 19% 68% 17%
Concentrate 4444 52% 81% 81% 45% 36% 36% 73% 81% 32% 83%
Feed 8564 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Future Work Programs:

The next phase of the testwork will include testing a bulk sample with the RADOS XRF Ore Sorter to gauge parameters such as particle size, exposure, and its economic viability as a separation method.

Qualified Person's Statement

The technical information contained in this press release has been reviewed by Mr. Mike Evans, M.Sc. Pr.Sci.Nat., who is a qualified person for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101 and a consulting geologist to Montero.

About Montero Mining and Exploration

Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd. Is a mineral exploration and development company engaged in the identification, acquisition, evaluation and exploration of mineral properties primarily focused on rare earth elements (REE), phosphates and uranium in Tanzania, South Africa and Quebec, Canada respectively. Montero is focused on adding value for all shareholders through the acquisition and exploration on properties, which have the highest potential for future discoveries or development of existing mineral resources into mineable reserves. We remain engaged in the development of our flagship Wigu Hill Rare Earth Element Project in Tanzania, which is a high-grade, undeveloped Light Rare Earth Element deposit. The Company's current focus is on updating the initial NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate and advancing the hydro-metallurgical testwork with Mintek. With the rising prices of REEs and China's control over export quotas, it is becoming imperative that the rest of the world develops new rare earth resources to meet the increasing demand from "green" technology and high-tech applications.

Montero's growth strategy is to develop the Wigu Hill Rare Earth Element project and to bring this to account through eventual rare earth production and cash flow, while operating in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. We will continue to add value through the development of our portfolio of properties. Montero trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol MON.

Dr. Tony Harwood - President and CEO

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT: This News Release includes certain "forward-looking statements". These statements are based on information currently available to the Company and the Company provides no assurance that actual results will meet management's expectations. Forward-looking statements include estimates and statements that describe the Company's future plans, objectives or goals, including words to the effect that the Company or management expects a stated condition or result to occur. Forward-looking statements may be identified by such terms as "believes", "anticipates", "expects", "estimates", "may", "could", "would", "will", or "plan". Since forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results relating to, among other things, results of exploration, project development, reclamation and capital costs of the Company's mineral properties, and the Company's financial condition and prospects, could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements for many reasons such as: changes in general economic conditions and conditions in the financial markets; changes in demand and prices for minerals; litigation, legislative, environmental and other judicial, regulatory, political and competitive developments; technological and operational difficulties encountered in connection with the activities of the Company; and other matters discussed in this news release. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of the Company's forward-looking statements. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on the Company's forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by the Company or on its behalf, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

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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