December 8, 2015
Formation Metals Successfully Produces High Purity Cobalt Salts for the Rechargeable Battery Sector in Bench Scale Tests
Vancouver, B.C., December 8, 2015, Formation Metals Inc. (FCO-TSX)
(the “Company” or “Formation”) announces that initial bench test
production of cobalt sulfate heptahydrate crystals suitable for the
rechargeable battery sector has been successfully completed from ore
samples from Formation’s Idaho Cobalt Project (“ICP”). This bench test
work, outlined through a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) and
Non-Disclosure Agreements (“NDA”) with critical technology and equipment
suppliers, has developed and tested the process of producing cobalt
salts used in the rechargeable battery sector.
This metallurgical advancement represents the culmination of a year-long
testing program designed to demonstrate that high purity, battery grade
cobalt sulfate could be produced from Formation’s Idaho Cobalt Project
(“ICP”) ore and was recently verified by General Electric’s Water and
Process Technologies’ (“GE”) group.
Under the terms of a MoU, GE is to supply the equipment for the
crystallizer sections of the ICP’s Cobalt Process Facility (“CPF”),
while Formation will utilize Cytec Industries Inc.’s (“Cytec”) reagents
in the solvent extraction of cobalt used to purify solutions for GE
equipment to produce high purity cobalt sulfate heptahydrate crystals.
Paul Farquharson, President & CEO of Formation stated, “Thanks to
the many participants in the flowsheet development and testing steps
that included in-house consultants, Samuel Engineering Inc., Irish
Metals llc, Hazen Research, Cytec, and GE, Formation has demonstrated it can successfully produce high purity, battery grade cobalt sulfate from ICP ore.”
The successful completion of this pilot study utilized one of Cytec’s
CYANEX reagents to produce a cobalt rich solution suitable for the
production of battery grade cobalt salts. This work involved the
substitution of sodium hydroxide for magnesium oxide as the neutralizing
base compound. The switch from sodium hydroxide to magnesium oxide
resulted in a reduction of waste products and the potential to realize
additional revenues through sales of by-product magnesium sulfate. This
environmentally responsive approach to plant design exemplifies
Formation’s commitment to its Corporate Social Responsibilities’ core
values. Through this testing, two of the key process steps, cobalt
solvent extraction from Cytec, and crystallization from GE, performed as
required in support of the Formation’s, 2015 Preliminary Economic
Assessment (“PEA”) dated April 29, 2015.
Matthew Soderstrom, Technical Director at Cytec said “We are extremely
enthusiastic about the piloting results and the way the collaboration is
progressing with FMI [Formation]. This is part of Cytec’s global
innovation strategy to enable new extraction routes for critical
materials used in energy storage technologies of the future”.
Samuel Engineering of Denver, CO, (“SE”), is the Company’s lead
engineering firm overseeing the metallurgical test work. The testwork
was recommended by SE in the Company’s PEA, SEDAR filed on May 8, 2015
(see Company’s May 11, 2015 News Release for Summary of PEA results).
The following are SE’s current findings and recommendations:
“Based on the extensive metallurgical testwork results to
date, successful modifications to the Mill & CPF flowsheets and the
recent results and commitments from GE and Cytec, SE anticipates that
the final end product will meet the quality standards for high purity
cobalt sulfate chemicals required for the emerging rechargeable battery,
stationary storage and electric vehicle sectors.
Based on current GE and Cytec testwork results, SE
is recommending that project development activities be advanced to
support and produce a Definitive Feasibility Study”
Mr. Farquharson further commented, “We are pleased with Samuel’s
recommendations to advance the project to the Definitive Feasibility
Study level. We look forward to working closely with GE and Cytec to
further demonstrate to end users that Formation is capable of producing
an essential raw material critical to this growing rechargeable battery
revolution in an ethically and environmentally responsible manner”.
All required metallurgical testwork to confirm the viability of
producing battery grade cobalt chemicals from the cobalt project site
ore have been successfully performed. The following milestones outline
the metallurgical testwork completed to date:
- Process flow sheet developed to produce cobalt chemicals, November 2014 - March 2015
- PEA performed on proposed flowsheet, SEDAR filed May 2015
- Flotation tests finalized, final flow sheet determined, July - August 2015
- NSC (Nitrogen Species Catalyzed) leaching made Pregnant Leach
Solution from concentrate as per the existing PEA flow sheet, July -
- Copper reduction from cobalt concentrate achieved, July - August 2015
- Iron, and trace copper removal steps were finalized as part of testing, July - August 2015
- Cobalt SX (Solvent Extraction) was piloted and successfully
produced the required cobalt to magnesium ratio strip solution, October
Cobalt Sulfate Heptahydrate Crystals successfully produced at desired
size from Co SX strip solution, November 2015.
Process personnel indicated that the characteristics of the cobalt
sulfate heptahydrate crystals are consistent with those needed by the
battery industry and the methodology to produce them fits with the
methodology contemplated in the Company’s PEA.
Formation’s management anticipates utilizing the final results of this
metallurgical testwork to assist in the advancement of the project
towards definitive feasibility as recommended by SE.
About Formation Metals Inc.
Formation Metals Inc.’s primary asset, the Idaho Cobalt Project, remains
the sole, near term, fully environmentally permitted, primary cobalt
deposit in the United States and offers a unique potential for North
American consumers to secure an ethically sourced, environmentally sound
supply of battery grade cobalt chemicals, mined safely and responsibly
in the United States. www.formationmetals.com
About Cytec Industries Inc.
With innovation at its core, Cytec Industries (NYSE: CYT) has been the
global leader in mining chemicals for 100 years. Partnering with
producers of copper, cobalt, alumina and other key metals, Cytec
provides reagents and solutions based on an intensive technical support
model to meet customers’ metallurgical challenges and optimize mining
operations by reducing costs and improving productivity. www.cytec.com
E.R. (Rick) Honsinger, P.Geo., Vice President of the Company, is the
Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 who has
supervised the preparation of this news release and has approved its
Formation Metals Inc.
“J. Paul Farquharson”
J. Paul Farquharson
President & C.E.O.
For further information please contact:
Diane Mann, B.Sc., Investor Relations Manager
Formation Metals Inc., 1810 — 999 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V6C 2W2
Tel: 604-682-6229 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
— Web: formationmetals.com
The Company cautions that the results from the metallurgical testwork
discussed in this news release is preliminary in nature, and is based on
technical and economic assumptions which will be evaluated in further
studies. The PEA referred to in this report is based on the current (as
at March 10, 2015) ICP estimated resource model, which consists of
material in both the measured/indicated and inferred classifications.
Inferred mineral resources are considered too speculative geologically
to have technical and economic considerations applied to them outside
the scope of a PEA. The current basis of project information is not
sufficient to convert the mineral resources to mineral reserves, and
mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated
economic viability. Accordingly, there can be no certainty that the
results estimated in the PEA will be realized.
In addition, this news release contains “forward-looking statements”
within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation.
Statements in this news release pertaining to projected revenues and
cash flows, quantity and grade of mineralized materials, estimated
mineral prices and the continued expansion of the market for battery
grade cobalt chemicals are forward-looking statements. These
forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and address future
events and conditions and are subject to known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results,
performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different
from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Many of the assumptions respecting projected revenue, cash flow and
quantity of mineralized materials have been set out in detail in the
Preliminary Economic Assessment filed on SEDAR on May 8, 2015. Such
projections are and will inevitably always be dependent on assumptions
about future mineral prices and development costs which will be subject
to fluctuation due to global and local economic conditions. This news
release also contains forward-looking statements respecting the growing
demand for battery grade cobalt chemicals, which demand may or may not
continue to grow depending on consumer habits and technological
developments. Further information regarding risks and uncertainties
which may cause results to differ from those contained in
forward-looking statements is included in filings by the Company with
securities regulatory authorities and is available at www.sedar.com.
Although the Company 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. Although the Company has disclosed that it has
successfully produced cobalt sulfate heptahydrate crystals on a bench
scale level, from cobalt solvent extraction strip solution from the
Company’s ICP, there is no guarantee that the Company will attain
commercial production of such crystals for use in the rechargeable
battery sector. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on
forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update
any forward-looking statements that are contained herein, except in
accordance with applicable securities laws.
The statements contained in this news release in regard to Formation
Metals Inc. that are not purely historical are forward-looking
statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995, including Formation Metals Inc.’s beliefs,
expectations, hopes or intentions regarding the future. All
forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and are based
on information available to Formation Metals Inc. as of such date. It
is important to note that actual outcome and the actual results could
differ from those in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could
cause actual results to differ materially include risks and
uncertainties such as technological, legislative, corporate, commodity
price and marketplace changes.
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