Magnetics Business & Technology - Spring 2012 - (Page 6)

FEATURE ARTICLE By Caroline Wilson, DireCtor of investor relations • MataMeC explorations, inC. Ten Steps for Developing the Kipawa Heavy Rare Earth Deposit Developing a Rare Earth Deposit Rare earth projects are inherently different from commodities such as gold, silver and the base metals. While the demand for base metals is driven by mature sectors with average growth, the rare metals are in demand in new sectors such as electric and hybrid cars, energy efficient lighting and displays, as well as alternative energy such as windmills, all of which should experience above-average growth in the years to come. In addition, Rare Earth Elements (REEs) can be considered as industrial minerals where a possible end user must be identified during the earliest steps of the development of a deposit. Rare earth elements are customer-specific chemicals, produced to precise chemical and physical specifications. The suppliers must become an integral link in the supply chain as the customer needs are continually evolving. The final precipitation of a total rare earth concentrate must meet the needs of the end user. Developing a rare earth mine typically takes seven to 20 years. Matamec started work on the Kipawa Deposit in 2007 and should be in production by 2015. Dudley Kingsnorth has outlined 10 steps required before a deposit will go into production. Initially, Step 1 is an inferred resource must be identified and drilled to NI-43-101 standards, Step 2 is the mineralogy and metallurgy need to be defined in the laboratory, followed by Step 3 is a scoping study or preliminary economic assessment (PEA) to establish the initial viability of the project (capex and opex ±35 percent). The location of the Kipawa deposit near to supporting infrastructure (transportation, power, water, chemicals and skilled labor) brings Matamec’s costs down and a high concentration of heavy REEs increases the value of the deposit. Matamec’s PEA defines a resource with 70 percent of the resource in the indicated category and 30 percent in the inferred category. Presently, a 12 to 16 year mine life is projected. However, there is plenty of upside as the deposit remains open in all directions. Identification of the mineral(s) containing the REEs is an important stage in determining the amenability of the ore to costeffective processing. Liberation size of the RE mineral(s) should not to be too fine so that they are amenable to conventional beneficiation techniques such as flotation, gravity and magnetic separation. Kipawa’s main REE-bearing mineral is Eudialyte (Figure 2). It is medium grained, well-crystallized and not intergrown with the other minerals. A simple, low cost recipe for extracting the total rare earths as an oxide (TREO) includes an ore pre-concentration process, by magnetic separation, that eliminates 65 percent of the Kipawa ore before the hydrometallurgical process begins. A simple acid leach using 150 kg of acid/t of ore at room temperature has been outlined with excellent recoveries. Additional elements of Matamec’s PEA include: the completed baseline environmental studies and a site chosen for the processing facilities. The local communities and relevant government agencies have been consulted and are kept up to date with regular meetings. The next steps in developing the Kipawa Deposit include Steps 4 to 6 the pilot plant(s) in three stages: Step 4 is beneficiation, Step 5 is extraction and Step 6 is separation. The goal Dudley Kingsnorth (IMCOA, March 2011) has outlined ‘Ten Steps for Developing a Rare Earth Deposit’ that Matamec has used as a guideline in developing its Kipawa Heavy Rare Earth Deposit. Matamec Explorations, Inc. is a junior mining exploration company whose main focus is in developing the heavy rare earths-yttriumzirconium Kipawa deposit located in Temiscaming, SW Quebec. It is also exploring more than 35 km of strike length in the Kipawa Alkalic Complex for rare earths-yttrium-zirconium-niobium-tantalum mineralization on the surrounding Zeus property (see Figure 1 for property location and infrastructure). A timely, high value and low cost mine is being fast-tracked to be in production by early 2015. Figure 1. Property Map and Infrastructure The viability of the project is emphasized by a simple mineralogy rich in the rarer heavy rare earths (HREEs); a well defined NI-43-101 compliant indicated and inferred resource with plenty of upside; a flat-lying ore body that extends to surface and is open pittable with a low strip ratio; an ore pre-concentration process that eliminates 65 percent of the ore; a simple, low cost recipe for extracting the total rare earths as an oxide (TREO); and an easy, accessible infrastructure in a mining friendly province. End users, such as the car industry, are interested in Kipawa’s critical metal content (such as dysprosium) and are capable of absorbing its entire product, as illustrated by Matamec’s recent strategic partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corp. (TTC). In the recent MOU, steps were outlined that will lead to the eventual financing of a definitive feasibility study and the financing of the capital expenditure. An off-take agreement will be negotiated whereby TTC will buy 100 percent of the Kipawa production and a joint venture agreement will split only the Kipawa Deposit, with Matamec retained as the manager and owning 51 percent. 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. It is also exploring for gold in conjunction with Northern Superior Resources, Inc. on the Lesperance/ Wachigabau property. 6 Magnetics Business & Technology • Spring 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Magnetics Business & Technology - Spring 2012

Magnetics Business & Technology - Spring 2012
Editor’s Choice
Ten Steps for Developing the Kipawa Heavy Rare Earth Deposit
Designing New Magnet Technology - A Multiphysics Challenge
Magnets • Materials • Measurement
Four-Pole Technique for EMI Filter Design
Application • Component Developments
Research & Development
Industry News
Spontaneous Thoughts: The Golden Rule for Writers

Magnetics Business & Technology - Spring 2012