VANCOUVER, BC - John Clarke, CEO of Great Quest Metals Ltd. ("Great Quest" or the "Company") (TSX-V:GQ) is pleased to announce the successful completion of the initial granulation test carried out on the Tilemsi Phosphate Project in Eastern Mali by MINTEK South Africa and the Company's consultant Gaya Resources Development ("Gaya"). Gaya reports that the granulation of Tilemsi phosphate rock should be feasible with relative ease with the use of a rotating pan.
Successful granulation is an important step for the development of a low cost phosphate product for local use. Direct application phosphate products are of increasing popularity throughout Africa, and could be quickly developed into a low capex and low operating cost cash flow business from the Tilemsi project. One very significant benefit of a granulated product would be its ability to be used as an ingredient for NPK fertilizer blends and to be spread by farmers using conventional equipment.
The objective of the granulation testing was to produce phosphate granules of a size between 1-4mm. Testing was conducted on Tilemsi phosphate samples milled to 95% passing 150 microns. A total of five tests were carried out. The first two tests utilized KCl or peat as binding agents. The tests were repeated with biological starter M4 which contains highly concentrated spores of the natural soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis M4. This bacterium belongs to the PGPR bacterial group (Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria) which is widely recognized to stimulate plant growth when in direct contact with its roots. The fifth case was a control test without the use of binding agents. The addition of the bacteria increases the solubility of the phosphate.
The granulation process followed by Gaya utilised an inclined rotating disk granulator. The binder was added along with water, and the product was dried overnight. The results of the each of the tests are shown below:
|Test 1 - 5%KCL
||Test 2 - 15% Peat
||Test 3 -
10%KCL & 2.5%bac
|Test 4 -
15%Peat & 2.5%bac
|Test 5 - Binderless
The test showed that the utilization of peat, along with bacteria M4 created the greatest quantity of ideal size fraction and least amount of fines generated in the abrasion tests.
Abrasion strength tests were conducted on the granulated test products to measure the abrasiveness (generation of fines) in order to gain an understanding of the competence of the granulated products to withstand transportation to market. The abrasion tests were conducted on granules sized 1-4mm produced during each test to determine the percentage fines generated over time, various time intervals (1, 3, 5 minutes). After every time interval the material was screened using the relevant screens to determine the amount of fines generated.
Abrasion Strength Tests (Abrasion Index)
||4.5% (6.3% fines)
||7.6% (8.8% fines)
||2.6% (3.4% fines)
||1.1% (1.7% fines)
||5.0% (6.5% fines)
The abrasion strengths obtained per test were as follows:
- For Test 1, the granules obtained an abrasion index of 4.5% (6.3% fines) after tumbling for 5 minutes.
- For Test 2, a slightly higher abrasion index of 7.6% (8.8% fines) was generated after 5 minutes of tumbling.
- For Test 3, a lower abrasion index of 2.6% (3.4% fines) was obtained after 5 minutes of tumbling. This illustrates that the bacteria assists in compacting the granules resulting in better physical strength.
- For Test 4, similarly with the addition of bacteria, the lowest abrasion index of 1.1% (1.7% fines) was obtained after 5 minutes of tumbling.
- For Test 5, the granules obtained an abrasion index of 5.0% (6.5% fines) after tumbling for 5 minutes. Based on the agglomeration data, the following was observed:
The abrasion results illustrated that all granules produced resulted in good physical strength properties for handling and transportation. The optimum abrasion index (1.1%) was obtained for Test 4, i.e. the addition of Peat (15%) and bacteria (2.5%).
ohn Clarke, CEO of Great Quest Metals commented, "We are pleased with the results of the granulation tests. The success of creating a local fertilizer product for the West African region hinges on keeping costs low and making the product transportable. These results show strong indication that both can be achievable. The product showed excellent potential for optimal granulation."
MINTEK and Gaya will continue working to further optimize the granulation process and improvements to the solubility of the granulated product.
The Board has today granted to a consultant of the Company an incentive option to acquire 100,000 shares in the capital of the Company at $2.88 per share for a five year period, subject to vesting provisions, in accordance with the Company's Stock Option Plan.
Jed Diner (M.Sc., P. Geol.) is the Qualified Person responsible in accordance with NI 43-101 for the content, review and approval of this News Release. Mr. Diner completed his M.Sc. in Applied Earth Science at Stanford University and works internationally on mineral exploration and resource development projects. He has consulted on other phosphate projects in Uzbekistan, Peru and Angola.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF GREAT QUEST METALS LTD.
John A Clarke
Great Quest Metals Ltd. is a Canadian mineral exploration company with assets in Mali, West Africa. The Company is focused on developing the Tilemsi Phosphate Project, encompassing 1206 sq km in eastern Mali. The Company also holds several gold concessions in the productive Birimian gold belt in western Mali. Great Quest is listed on TSX Venture Exchange (GQ), and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (GQM).
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