Firestone Ventures Inc.

Firestone Ventures Inc.

March 04, 2011 06:30 ET

Positive Test Results from First Round of Metallurgical Testwork using AmmLeach® on Firestone's Torlon Hill Zinc-Lead-Silver Oxide Deposit

- AmmLeach® amenability testwork on selected representative samples from the Torlon Hill zinc deposit, with a head grade of greater than or equal to 6.99% zinc, resulted in an average zinc dissolution of 79%; this shows that zinc recoveries of greater than 75% should be achievable

- Alexander to develop a conceptual process flow sheet for a treatment plant to produce zinc metal using AmmLeach®

- Collaborative relationship with Firestone to target further opportunities to use AmmLeach® on Firestone's zinc oxide projects in Guatemala and and Nevada.

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 4, 2011) - Firestone Ventures Inc. ("Firestone") (TSX VENTURE:FV)(FRANKFURT:F5V) and Alexander Mining plc ("Alexander") (TSX VENTURE:AXD)(AIM:AXM) are pleased to announce that AmmLeach® amenability test work conducted by Alexander's wholly owned subsidiary, MetaLeach Limited ('MetaLeach'), for Firestone on its Torlon Hill zinc oxide project ('Torlon Hill') in Guatemala produced highly favourable results. 

For eleven selected representative zinc oxide ore samples, where the head grade assays were ≥6.99% zinc, the average zinc dissolution was 79% and hence potentially high recoveries of >75% should be achievable. It is anticipated that recoveries can further be improved by optimisation of the leaching conditions.

As a result, Firestone has requested Alexander submit a conceptual process flow sheet for Torlon Hill and a plan for substantial additional next stage testwork. The conceptual flow sheet will be for a heap leach solvent-extraction electro-winning ('SX-EW') treatment plant using AmmLeach®. The conceptual flow sheet could be the precursor to a decision by Firestone to commit to a full feasibility study for Torlon Hill using AmmLeach®. Commercial terms would be agreed between Firestone, Alexander and MetaLeach at that time. 

Additionally, Alexander and Firestone have agreed to work collaboratively to identify and target other high acid-consuming, carbonate-hosted zinc oxide opportunities in Firestone's portfolio which may be suitable for AmmLeach®.

Lori Walton, President and CEO of Firestone, said:

"We are very pleased with the initial results using the AmmLeach® process showing that potential recoveries of over 75% zinc could be achievable. Further work is warranted and we plan to work together with Alexander Mining on developing a conceptual flow sheet that will provide valuable information for a future feasibility study."

Martin Rosser, CEO of Alexander, said:

"We are delighted to be working with Firestone on investigating the use of AmmLeach® at its Torlon Hill zinc oxide project. Firestone has been advancing assiduously its zinc exploration activities in Guatemala and has built up an extensive zinc oxide property portfolio. This step is a significant one in Alexander's aim of demonstrating the commercial use of AmmLeach® for processing high grade zinc oxide deposits."

Firestone Ventures Inc. is advancing its road-accessible Torlon Hill zinc-lead-silver project in Guatemala, Central America. The combined Measured and Indicated Resource totals 1,891,636 tonnes grading 7.32% zinc, 2.41% lead and 14.25 g/t silver (at a 3% zinc-equivalent cut-off). An additional 169,705 tonnes is classified as Inferred resources grading 4.42% zinc, 1.96% lead and 12.53 g/t silver (see news release Nov. 18, 2008). In addition, there is a basal zone of unoxidized sulphide mineralization which is not yet well defined by the drilling to date. The deposit is open to expansion and high-grade zinc oxide mineralization defined to date is on or near surface. Smithsonite (ZnCO3) is the prevalent zinc mineral at Torlon Hill, occurring as a replacement to limestone and resulting in high grade mineralization locally exceeding 40% zinc. Other non-sulphide zinc minerals are relatively rare and there is no evidence of deleterious zinc-clay minerals such as sauconite. Firestone is dedicated to developing and maintaining supportive community and government relationships at Torlon Hill and in Guatemala.

As well as Torlon Hill, Firestone has a significant land position throughout a historical carbonate-hosted zinc-lead-silver district extending across a 250km belt in Guatemala. Scant modern exploration has taken place in the carbonate belt despite the historical mining of numerous oxide and sulphide zinc occurrences on surface. Firestone is currently evaluating and sampling a number of these occurrences. In addition, Firestone is working on drilling its zinc oxide prospects in Nevada, U.S.A.

Alexander is a mining and mineral processing technology company with a reputation for strong technical management, allied with financial markets' expertise and experience. Through its wholly owned subsidiary MetaLeach Limited, it is solely focused on the commercialisation of its proprietary mineral processing technology. 

This news release may contain forward looking statements, being statements which are not historical facts, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization, exploration results, resource or reserve estimates, anticipated production or results, sales, revenues, costs, "best-efforts" financings or discussions of future plans and objectives. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove accurate. Such statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations are in Company documents filed from time to time with the TSX Venture Exchange and provincial securities regulators, most of which are available at The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to revise or update such statements unless required by law. 

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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