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TVI Pacific Inc. Provides An Update On Its Mindoro Joint Venture Projects

The laterite feed to the processing plant comprising limonite material and saprolite material would be mixed with sulphuric acid and undergo numerous steps to ultimately produce a nickel hydroxide product.  This intermediate nickel product could either be sold as is or further processed to produce metallic nickel. The estimated capital cost for the nickel processing plant plus associated infrastructure (port, water, power, etc.) is expected to be less than US$100 million. The cash operating costs are estimated to be approximately US$4 per lb Ni (approximately US$9,000/t Ni), assuming the use of imported sulphuric acid. If the Pan de Azucar pyrite project can be successfully commercialized (refer below), then the opportunity exists to self-produce sulphuric acid at the nickel plant site, thereby further reducing operating costs, and with the added benefits of by-product electricity and steam.

Site infrastructure is excellent with local sources of labour, fresh water and power (supplemented by back-up generators). The processing plant will be located within two kilometres of the port, thereby simplifying acid transport and other logistics, as well as keeping operating costs down. Deep water for ships up to 50,000 tonne capacity occurs within 250 metres of the coastline.

A number of activities relating to the Agata Ni Processing Plant are underway and include:
  • internal project feasibility scoping including previous relevant Mindoro scoping work
  • external laboratory testing at BGRIMM of a representative bulk ore sample taken from the Agata Ni deposit, including:
    • crushing and grinding tests
    • pre-leach thickener settling tests
    • primary and secondary leaching tests
    • leach residue preliminary settling and filtration tests
  • establishment of laboratory and pilot testing facility (in the Philippines)
    • bench-scale laboratory equipment has been installed and testwork will commence at this facility before mid-February 2013
    • pilot plant equipment has been identified and specified
  • the process flowsheet has been identified and confirmed by laboratory tests
  • process flow diagrams are near completion
  • mass and energy balance have been developed in METSIM, using laboratory test data to calibrate the model
  • environmental and leached ore storage facilities designs are well advanced
  • preliminary infrastructure design is underway, including:
    • port/jetty design, including reagent storage facilities
    • water source identification
    • road design
    • process plant location and preliminary layout

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