PhosCan Chemical Corp.
TSX : FOS

PhosCan Chemical Corp.

December 12, 2011 11:23 ET

PhosCan Chemical Provides Update for Martison Phosphate Project

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 12, 2011) -

(All dollar amounts are expressed in Canadian currency unless otherwise noted.)

PhosCan Chemical Corp. (TSX:FOS) ("PhosCan" or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update of activities at the Martison Phosphate Project.

As described in the Company's press release dated October 26, 2010, niobium and rare earth mineralization is contained in two distinct materials within the Martison deposit: an iron oxide laterite cap overlying phosphate-enriched residuum, and the flotation tailings remaining after a phosphate concentrate is recovered from the residuum. The potential enhancement of the economics of phosphate production due to the profitable recovery of niobium and/or rare earths as by-products could allow the Martison project to be examined as a stand-alone phosphate concentrate producer. The Company has been carrying out metallurgical studies to determine if niobium and/or rare earths can be profitably recovered.

Metallurgical Update

Flotation Tailings

The original metallurgical test-work done by PhosCan on the phosphate-enriched residuum targeted high recovery of a premium phosphate concentrate, without regard to recovering niobium. During the process of recovering a phosphate concentrate it is necessary to reject ultra-fine material and both magnetic and weakly magnetic minerals. This original process design resulted in the loss of about two-thirds of the niobium, leaving only one-third of the niobium available for recovery by treatment of the phosphate tailings. Work is now being directed at significantly reducing these losses before the niobium flotation circuit, the process for which has evolved from bench scale studies completed during the past nine months.

These studies of the phosphate flotation tailings have resulted in the development of a flotation process which results in the recovery of more than 40% of the niobium contained in the tailings to a pyrochlore concentrate containing 50% to 54% Nb2O5 (niobium pentoxide). Pyrochlore is the principal feedstock for converters that produce ferro-niobium, the end product of major niobium mines.

Stephen Case, President & CEO of PhosCan, stated, "Simply put, by redesigning the phosphate recovery circuit and mitigating the loss of niobium occurring during phosphate production, overall niobium recoveries should be enhanced."

Iron Oxide Laterite

Work done on the iron oxide laterite has concentrated on differential leaching of niobium and rare earths using various combinations of acid reagents under a range of test conditions. Current studies are aimed at recovering niobium from enriched residues after leaching and rare earths from the leach liquor. Results to date are preliminary in nature, and it is premature to analyze the potential economic impact at this time.

Winter Work Program

In order to facilitate the proposed metallurgical program the Company intends to conduct work at the Martison Deposit during the winter of 2012. The Company has commenced construction of a temporary winter road to access the site and intends to conduct hydrogeological testing and a 2000 meter sonic drill program to collect samples for ongoing metallurgical tests. The Company's budget for the work is approximately $4.5 million.

Harold Wyslouzil, P. Eng, is the qualified person responsible for the supervision of the technical information in this news release.

About PhosCan

PhosCan currently has cash and cash equivalents, plus short term investments of approximately $65 million. The Company continues to monitor economic conditions for attractively priced acquisitions and investment opportunities that would be accretive to shareholder value.

Certain information set forth in this news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the control of PhosCan, including, but not limited to, the impact of general economic conditions, industry conditions, volatility of financial markets and commodity prices, risks associated with the uncertainty of exploration results and estimates and that the resource potential will be achieved on development projects, results of future metallurgical testing, currency fluctuations, dependence upon regulatory approvals, and the uncertainty of obtaining additional financing. Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements.

Contact Information

  • PhosCan Chemical Corp.
    Stephen Case
    President & CEO
    (416) 972-9222