JOHN DOWNS RETAINED AS ADVISOR TO CORPORATION
Bill McWilliam, Cascadero Copper Corporation's President and CEO, welcomes John Downs to an advisory role for the Corporation. Mr. Downs brings invaluable experience and knowledge to the advisory position at this time in the Corporation's development of the Taron cesium prospect. He was a key employee in Cabot Corporation's Specialty Fluid Division from 1996 to 2014, and now has initiated a business specializing in advising clients with respect to all types of oil well formate brines, drilling, and well completion information (www.formatebrine.com). Cascadero anticipates, in going forward, that formate brines will be a large business segment.
THE McElroy DRAFT REPORT FOR REAGENT AND UTILITY COST ESTIMATES FOR TARON CESIUM PRODUCTION
Cascadero has also received a draft report from Rod McElroy, Ph.D, on the consumption of chemicals and energy requirments to produce cesium hydroxide (CsOH) according to the University of British Columbia (UBC) Hydrometallurgical Study flow sheet received by Cascadero in December 2015. The McElroy report presents reagent and utility cost estimates for production of 3,000 metric tonnes per year (mtpy) of cesium hydroxide (CsOH) at a market grade of 50% solution from Taron drill core TAR-09-04.
In addition to the 3,000 mtpy cesium hydroxide production target, principal (conceptual) design criteria include:
- a resource grade: 0.46% cesium (Cs)
- cesium recovery to product: 90%
These criteria also envision a process plant with a nominal capacity of 1,760 mtpd of ore at a design capacity of 2,000 mtpd and at 90% availability. The scope for estimation includes all test work, identified reagents, and utilities (water, electric power, steam) required based on the UBC process flow diagram. Excluded are operating labor, ore mining, waste disposal and product marketing as well as all capital costs related to the project and which are now in the planning stages.
Dr. McElroy's report states, at this time, that the total reagent plus utility costs are ~40% of posted industry prices of cesium hydroxide and indicate a potential for a profitable operation without further beneficial testing. The dominant, 73% of total reagent plus utility costs are associated with sulphuric acid (58%) and limestone, or lime, for neutralization of the waste stream (15%). To the extent that acid and neutralization costs can be significantly reduced by process modifications indicates a clear potential for further reduction of reagent costs.
The UBC test data are also interpreted to indicate that for a sulphuric acid leach, a high-residual acid content is necessary to achieve the high-cesium extraction. On this basis, one way to materially reduce acid consumption of the whole ore leach conducted at UBC, is to increase the grade of feed to the chemical process; a process which was conducted successfully in 2006 by SGS Lakefield Research in Peterborough, Ontario. The SGS Lakefield report indicated an 82% cesium recovery to a concentrate containing 35% by weight of ore fed. This test work, although it was done on a different sample from that provided to UBC, is similar to the results achieved in the UBC research.
On this basis and with a 16% higher mining rate, the acid and base costs for chemical processing can conceptually be further reduced by up to 65%, based on the units of cesium hydroxide product. This would result in a total reagent plus utilities cost of ~21% of Dr. McElroy's base case. Based on these initial test work results the Cascadero is planning to review and implement the test work recommendations of Dr. McElroy.
Please note that these estimates are of a preliminary or scoping level but are consistent with the UBC test work database. The Company is also withholding this report from distribution at this time as the author, Dr. McElroy, has recognized and recommended several options that may be material to reducing the cost of producing cesium hydroxide and it appears that significant reductions may be possible, subject to positive results of additional process test work.
A core drilling program, based on ongoing geostatistical modelling scheduled for the end of July, is also planned with an objective of defining a NI 43-101 compliant inferred resource of 8,000,000 to 10,000,000 metric tonnes or 11.5 to 14.5 years of production.
REGBERG LTD - OPTION EXCERCISE
Regberg Ltd. has exercised its option to acquire an additional 5% interest in the SESA Holdings LLC (LLC) Joint Venture for US$175,000 increasing Regberg's interest to 30% and decreasing Cascadero's interest to 70%. There are no other options to any party for further dilution of Cascadero's interest in SESA.
This news release, and contained technical data, were reviewed and approved by David Trueman Ph.D, P.Geo., qualified person for the Company.
Cascadero Copper Corporation
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