Encouraging news re ability to recover massive Carbonite from the Niobium Project. Indicates flotation method and recovery can be achieved at a lower cost and maximum retrieval. Thus revenue production at a maximum.
") (“Plato” or the “Company”), an exploration company with a portfolio of properties in Northern Ontario and Santa Cruz, Argentina is pleased to announce the completion of a Preliminary Mineralogical and Metallurgical Study (the “Study”) on a 39.8 kg sample of drill core from the Good Hope Niobium Project, 45 kilometres northwest of the town of Marathon, Ontario.
The study, carried out by Process Mineralogical Consulting Ltd. (“PMC”), of Maple Ridge, B.C., was conducted to determine if the niobium-bearing carbonatites from the Good Hope Niobium Project were amenable to concentration by gravity and flotation methods. These are conventional methods used for Niobium recovery. The sample used for PMC’s study came from a representative sample as chosen by PMC from drill hole PGH-18-10A from Plato’s previous drill program (See Press Release dated September 19, 2018).
The initial preliminary mineralogical and metallurgical study yielded encouraging results. Although a conclusion cannot be determined regarding the quality of the concentrate that it is possible to achieve due to the limited number of tests and small sample size, valuable information was obtained:
Pyrochlore is the only Nb-bearing mineral identified in the sample.
The pyrochlore is not predominantly ultrafine with ~ 4% of the pyrochlore grains being <20 µm.
There does not appear to be any severe metallurgical concerns that would impede the recovery of the pyrochlore to a combined gravity and flotation concentrate.
A typical flowsheet for niobium recovery may include both gravity and flotation: Gravity may be preferred for coarser grained pyrochlore with flotation often applied to finer grained material., Approximately 70% recovery was achieved in the preliminary gravity rougher circuit
Apatite and zircon - were also concentrated in both gravity tests. However, if these diluting agents can be separated from the rougher gravity concentrate, they would be a potential additional source of revenue, as well as increasing Nb grade. This will be tested in future rounds of test work.
Among the recommendations, PMC suggests Plato perform further flotation studies with the selection of a reagent schemes. This may indicate the viability of an all flotation plant and would give further data on pyrochlore concentrate grades and recovery
“We are extremely pleased with these preliminary mineralogical and metallurgical findings,” said Anthony J. Cohen, President & CEO of Plato. “We had not realized the potential for zirconium on this property to be a valuable credit, along with the apatite, to the niobium-bearing pyrochlore. Furthermore, the metallurgy is conventional, and there is an absence of significant amounts of either uranium or thorium which are expensive to handle and/or dispose of,” added Cohen. “We are looking forward to our next drill program now that we have this valuable information, to further develop this well-located niobium project. I could not be more encouraged now to move this project forward,” said Cohen.
Mr. John Fox, P.Eng of Laurion Consulting Inc is the independent “Qualified Person” as defined in NI 43-101, who has reviewed the PMC report and this press release and approved the technical content in this press release."