Montero and Mintek agree to collaborate on further hydrometallurgical testwork programs advancing the understanding of Rare Earth Refining
Toronto, Ontario - (October 11, 2012) - Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd. (TSX.V: MON) announces that it has come to an agreement to collaborate with Mintek, an internationally recognized metallurgical research and testwork facility in Johannesburg, South Africa, to further develop and optimize the Montero Stage 1 leaching process. These efforts will yield an improvement in the economics of the Montero process as well as assisting Mintek’s program of developing its proprietary technology for the refining and separation of rare earth elements.
Mintek will continue Montero’s bulk leach test program at a pilot plant scale to verify and optimize the leaching process already developed by Mintek and Montero for the Wigu Hill Rare Earth Element (“REE”) Project. In return, Montero will provide Mintek with a bulk sample from the Wigu Hill Deposit to be used by Mintek as part of Mintek’s program to develop its independent, proprietary refining technology for producing individually separated REE products.
Mintek will in effect be conducting two parallel testwork programs – the first specific to the Wigu Hill Deposit and using conventional, non-proprietary refining technology; the second being Mintek’s proprietary process in the early stages of development. Mintek will compare the two technologies as part of the program and, if Mintek’s proprietary technology offers benefits to Montero, the parties will investigate ways in which Montero might access the Mintek technology.
Through this collaboration with Mintek, Montero expects to get early insight into alternative, innovative refining technologies.
Dr. Tony Harwood, President and CEO of Montero commented, “By collaborating on Mintek’s program of developing new and innovative process routes for separating Rare Earth Elements, Montero expects to increase its options to ultimately adopt the refining strategy that extracts maximum value from its REE project. Mintek’s proven track record of success in the development of new technologies for the refining of metals, we expect that this development will allow Montero to continue on our strategy to become a low cost Rare Earth producer.”
About Montero Mining & Exploration Ltd.
Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd. is a mineral exploration and development company engaged in the development of its flagship Rare Earth Elements (REE) Project Wigu Hill in Tanzania, with phosphate assets in South Africa and uranium assets in Tanzania and Quebec, Canada. The flagship Wigu Hill REE Project is a high-grade, undeveloped Light Rare Earth Element deposit, where the current focus is a fast track strategy to advance a portion of the large deposit to the mining and production stage in the short-term whilst defining a larger deposit and further advancing the hydro-metallurgical testwork with Mintek. With China's control over export quotas, it is becoming imperative that the rest of the world develops new rare earth resources to meet the increasing demand from “green” technology and high-tech applications. Montero has a highly experienced Board and Management team that has built and operated mines and refinery operations that brings significant credibility to our strategy of becoming a rare earth chemical producer.
Mintek, South Africa's national mineral research organization has over 25 years experience in REE extraction and is one of the world's leading technology organizations specializing in mineral processing, extractive metallurgy and related areas. Working closely with industry and other R&D institutions, Mintek offers a complete range of process development services, from preliminary bench-scale investigations to large-scale piloting and integrated flowsheet development in support of bankable feasibility studies. Comprehensive laboratory and piloting facilities for sample preparation, comminution, flotation, physical separation, smelting, leaching and metal recovery and purification are supported by internationally accredited analytical laboratory and mineralogical services. For further information on Mintek, please visit www.mintek.co.za.
Signed. Dr. Tony Harwood - President and CEO
For more information, contact:
Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd.
Tel: +1 416 840 9197 | Fax: +1 866 688 4671