Bovill KaolinDuring the Miocene epoch, Thatuna granodiorites that were exposed to the environment were subjected to intense weathering in a tropical or near tropical climate. This weathering caused much of the feldspar and some of the mica to be altered into clay minerals. Of particular interest is the weathering of the sodium feldspars into halloysitic to kaolinitic clays. These deposits are referred to as "residual deposits" or "primary clay" as they have weathered in place The depth limit of weathering may have initially been fairly consistent; however subsequent erosion has left a variable weathering profile with thickness roughly dependent on topography, with weathering exceeding 100 feet along ridges and less than 3 feet in some valleys.
I-Minerals has completed approximately sixty drill holes in three phases of drilling targeting two ridges where it successfully intersect wide intervals of primary clay. These two ridges are close to roads and infrastructure with one referred to as the "WBL Pit Area" and the second the "Middle Ridge." The WBL Pit Area was previously mined as late as the 1960s, but recoveries focused solely on the kaolinitic clays with no efforts made to recover the K-spar or quartz.
Work to date has defined an inferred resource of 38.4 million tons of primary clay comprised of an aggregate of halloysite, kaolin, quartz and k-spar with estimated mass percentages as follows: halloysite 6.6%, kaolin 16.7%, quartz 29.7% and 13.0% K-spar. These results have been incorporated into a Preliminary Economic Assessment that indicated that based upon an annual mining rate of 228,000 tons which would yield 150,000 tons of marketable mineral products which in turn could be sold for a weighted average product price of US$240 per ton the project is estimated to generate a Net Present Value of $155 million and an Internal Rate of return of 29%. Several opportunities to improve upon this assessment have since been identified including relocating the mill and tailings facilities. Additional metallurgical work is ongoing, which when completed will form the basis of a more definitive prefeasibility study.
It should be noted that this preliminary assessment is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable such resources to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the preliminary assessment will be realized. However, with additional drilling management is confident the Bovill Kaolin Deposits will soon represent one of the largest deposits of high aspect ratio halloysite in the world, the best k-spar in North America and a leading source of high purity quartz.