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Tasman Makes Metallurgical Breakthrough At Norra Karr Heavy Rare Earth Element And Zirconium Project, Sweden

VANCOUVER, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Tasman Metals Ltd. ("Tasman" or the "Company") (TSXV - TSM; Frankfurt - T61; NYSE AMEX - TAS). Mr Mark Saxon, President & CEO, is pleased to announce results from the significant progress made in development of a processing flow sheet for the Norra Karr heavy rare earth element (REE) and zirconium (Zr) project in southern Sweden.

Highlights include:

  • Preparation of a mineral concentrate with high REE recovery using wet magnetic separation;
  • Successful use of flotation to further upgrade this mineral concentrate;
  • High recoveries and low sulphuric acid consumption achieved when leaching the mineral concentrate in an ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure environment;
  • Processing flow sheet now well defined for inclusion in PEA nearing completion by Pincock, Allen & Holt;
  • Potentially saleable nepheline/feldspar co-product with low iron content separated during physical concentrate preparation;

"The metallurgical team at the Geological Survey of Finland has made great progress for Tasman in developing a simple and potentially low cost processing method for Norra Karr" said Mark Saxon, Tasman's President & CEO.  "The mineral concentrate we have prepared by magnetic separation and flotation is as encouraging as we hoped for at the start of our research.   In addition to achieving high REE recoveries, we have now also separated a potentially saleable nepheline/feldspar co-product, which may allow Tasman to significantly reduce tailings dam requirements, and optimally use the mined resource.  The acid leaching program was also a success, with sulphuric acid consumption greatly reduced with respect to previous tests, no roasting or elevated pressure required, and recoveries of the high value heavy REE's exceeding 90%."

The mineral processing division of the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) in Outokumpu was engaged in 2011 to undertake physical concentrate preparation (beneficiation) and leaching testing on a sample of Norra Karr mineralization.  Approximately 100 kg of representative uncrushed drill core was delivered to GTK.  Previous metallurgical work by SGS Minerals Services (as reported 4 th May 2011) identified a simple and effective leach process, therefore GTK focused a majority of research on beneficiation.  The research was completed under the guidance of Tasman's consulting metallurgist, Mr John Litz of JE Litz & Associates, Colorado.

Mineral liberation studies have shown the Norra Karr host rock to have simple mineralogy, with almost all REE's contained within the acid soluble zirconosilicate mineral eudialyte. Eudialyte comprises 7.2% of the sample, whilst the Zr-rich/REE-poor mineral catapleiite comprises 2.5%. Zircon (0.03%) and other REE phases (0.19%) are present in only trace amounts. Accessory minerals in the sample are dominated by aegirine (21.6%), albite (19.5%), potassium feldspar (17.1%) and analcime (16.4%).

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