TORONTO, March 17, 2021 /CNW/ - Global Atomic Corporation ("Global Atomic" or the "Company") (TSX: GLO) (OTCQX: GLATF) (Frankfurt: G12) is pleased to report on the successful completion of a Pilot Plant Program demonstrating the viability of the uranium recovery process detailed in the May 2020 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the Dasa Project located in the Republic of Niger, West Africa.
The Pilot Plant was erected in August 2020 within the Process Research Ortech (PRO) facility in Canada and ran in a steady-state fashion over a 3-month period to process ore samples shipped from the Dasa Project. The ore samples were representative of the first 5 years of mining expected in the Phase 1 Dasa mine development plan. Samples representing the first 20 months of mining were processed through a first pilot campaign and had leach uranium recoveries of 92.8% at acid rates of 80 kg/t of ore. Deeper ore was then processed in a second campaign at the same acid rates but resulted in higher leach recoveries of 94.6%. On the deepest ore processed in the third campaign, acid rates of 80 kg/t of ore resulted in 97.8% uranium recovery. Given the increases in recoveries with increasing depth, acid rates were reduced to 70, 60, and 50 kg/t ore in campaign 3 with resulting uranium recoveries of 95.1%, 94.3%, and 94.1%, respectively. These high recoveries at low acid rates for deeper ore are attributed to a reduction in organic matter content with increasing ore depth.
Solvent extraction based on the latest sodium carbonate stripping technology combined with a uranyl peroxide precipitation process resulted in near quantitative conversion of uranium from the leach into final uranyl peroxide yellow cake product. The yellowcake was dried or calcined to produce UO4 or U3O8, respectively, with low impurity levels without requiring further purification to produce these varying forms of saleable uranium concentrate.
Stephen G. Roman, President and CEO of Global Atomic, said, "The results of this Pilot Plant Study confirmed better than expected metallurgical results for the Dasa ore. With the recent granting of our required operating permits by the Republic of Niger, confirmation of the metallurgical process to recover uranium was a key milestone which we have now achieved. Our Feasibility Study is on track for completion in Q3 and we will now begin tendering for mill components to finalize costs. We are confident in our plans to start building the Dasa Mine in early 2022."
Dr. Santiago Faucher, President at Insight R&D Inc., commented, "The Pilot Plant was stable and produced a high-quality uranyl peroxide and U3O8 product under closed loop conditions. Through its optimization we achieved over 94% uranium recoveries at leach acid consumption rates as low as 50 kg of sulfuric acid per tonne of ore. The results surpassed the May 2020 PEA recoveries of 92% at 80 kg of sulfuric acid per tonne. The work taught us how to run the process and has laid a strong technical foundation for further metallurgical plant improvements that will be carried through to the production plant design."
The Global Atomic uranium recovery process utilizes pugging followed by solvent extraction and precipitation to produce high-grade uranyl peroxide at low acid consumption rates. Similar pugging processes have been used in Niger for over 50 years to extract uranium at Orano Mining's Cominak and Somaïr operations, located 100 kilometers north of the Dasa Project.
Insight and PRO were supported by a Technical Advisory Committee who reviewed and advised on the process development work. This committee included Stephen G. Roman, President & CEO of Global Atomic as well as Ron Halas, COO, Russell Bradford, Principal of Jem-Met Plc, an Australian metallurgical consultant well known in the uranium industry and Fergus Kerr, P.Eng., the former General Manager of Denison's Elliot Lake operations.
Global Atomic congratulates Dr. Faucher and the PRO team for delivering an excellent result in this study which further enhances the Dasa Project economics and advances the development of the Project. These results will now be incorporated into the Feasibility Study, scheduled for release by the end of Q3, 2021.
The scientific and technical information contained in this news release were prepared by Dr. Faucher and has been reviewed and approved by Dr. Halim and Dr. Lakshmanan. Dr. Lakshmanan is an independent Qualified Persons ("QP"), as defined under NI 43-101.
Process Research Ortech (formerly known as the Ontario Research Council) set up the Pilot Plant under the direction of Dr. Lakshmanan and Dr. Abdul Halim and supervised by Global Atomic's consultant, Dr. Santiago Faucher. Dr. Faucher is a metallurgist and process designer, with over 25 years of experience developing processes for well know companies including Xerox, Fuji-Xerox, BHP-Billiton, INCO, Northam Platinum, Mitsubishi, and Samsung. Dr. Halim has over 12 years of experience in developing and optimizing metallurgical process flowsheets to recover valuable metals including uranium and rare earths from different resources while working at PRO, SGS-Canada and FLSmith-USA. Dr. Lakshmanan has over 45 years of experience developing and designing uranium recovery processes, notably including those of Eldorado Nuclear's Key Lake (now Cameco), COGEMA's Cigar Lake (now Cameco and Orano), Canada Wide Mines Ltd.'s Midwest (now Denison), and Minatco's McLean Lake, all of which reached full-scale production.
About Global Atomic
Global Atomic Corporation (www.globalatomiccorp.com) is a publicly listed company that provides a unique combination of high-grade uranium mine development and cash-flowing zinc concentrate production.
The Company's Uranium Division includes four deposits with the flagship project being the large, high-grade Dasa Project, discovered in 2010 by Global Atomic geologists through grassroots field exploration. With the issuance of the Dasa Mining Permit and an Environmental Compliance Certificate by the Republic of Niger, the Dasa Project is fully permitted and final design in support of the Company's Feasibility Study is on-going.
Global Atomics' Base Metals Division holds a 49% interest in the Befesa Silvermet Turkey, S.L. ("BST") Joint Venture, which operates a new, state of the art zinc production plant, located in Iskenderun, Turkey. The plant recovers zinc from Electric Arc Furnace Dust ("EAFD") to produce a high-grade zinc oxide concentrate which is sold to zinc smelters around the world. The Company's joint venture partner, Befesa Zinc S.A.U. ("Befesa") listed on the Frankfurt exchange under 'BFSA', holds a 51% interest in and is the operator of the BST Joint Venture. Befesa is a market leader in EAFD recycling, with approximately 50% of the European EAFD market and facilities located throughout Europe and Asia.
The information in this release may contain forward-looking information under applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to completion of any financings; Global Atomic's development potential and timetable of its operating, development and exploration assets; Global Atomic's ability to raise additional funds necessary; the future price of uranium; the estimation of mineral reserves and mineral resources; conclusions of economic evaluation; the realization of mineral reserve estimates; the timing and amount of estimated future production, development and exploration; costs of future activities; capital and operating expenditures; success of exploration activities; mining or processing issues; currency exchange rates; government regulation of mining operations; and environmental and permitting risks. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "targets", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". All information contained in this news release, other than statements of current and historical fact, is forward looking information. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Global Atomic to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those risks described in the annual information form of Global Atomic and in its public documents filed on SEDAR from time to time.
Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made. Although management of Global Atomic has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Global Atomic does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. Readers should also review the risks and uncertainties sections of Global Atomic's annual and interim MD&As.
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