Mr. Larry W. Reaugh, President & Chief Executive Officer of Rocher Deboule Minerals Corp. (TSX.V: RD; OTCQB: RDBHF) (“Rocher Deboule” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the Company has commissioned N. Tribe & Associates Ltd. to complete a preliminary economic assessment of its 100% owned Artillery Peak Manganese project located in Mohave Country, Arizona.
Rocher Deboule’s goal is to become the lowest cost producer of electrolytic manganese. The Artillery Peak manganese is rapidly and easily leached in a sulphurous acid solution as demonstrated by the US Bureau of Mines research over the past fifty years, studies conducted by Hazen Research in the 1980’s, recent work done by labs engaged by the Company including Process Research Associates (“PRA”) and ongoing studies by Kemetco Research Inc. The manganese is then recovered from solution using conventional electrowinning technology.
Highlights of Manganese Production:
- Electrolytic manganese production world wide is approximately 1,000,000 tonnes/year;
- China produces 95% of all electrolytic manganese and South Africa 5%;
- Low grade deposits are utilized for production of electrolytic manganese in China;
- China’s cost of production is $0.87/lb before export taxes and shipping (steelguru.com);
- As there is no production of any manganese in North America, North America imports all of its needs;
- Manganese is at the top of the list for strategic and critical metals in the United States;
- Manganese is essential for steel making and new uses of electrolytic manganese are increasing especially in batteries for hybrid vehicles;
- US steel companies pay more per pound due to import duties and shipping than competitors. Currently the price per lb in the US is $1.37 versus $1.10 in Rotterdam;
- Power costs in North America are considerably less than costs in China or South Africa. This is critical as electroplating costs are the greatest component of the cost of production.
Artillery Peak Highlights:
- A Report by the US Bureau of Mines (“Manganese Deposits of Western Arizona” in 1958 Information Circular #7843 by L.L. Farmham and L.A. Stewart, page 31) categorized Artillery Peak as the largest low grade manganese resource in the southwestern US;
- The U.S.B.M. RI 9150 (1988) (“Leaching of Domestic Manganese Ores with Dissolved SO2” report by John E. Pahlman and Sanaa E. Khalafalla) confirms the mineralization Pyrolusite, Psilomelane and Wad (PY, PS & W) the most responsive to SO2 leaching. Artillery Peak metallurgical sample AZ-5 referred to in the U.S.B.M. report is PY, PS & W mineralization. The batch leaching tests showed 95% average extraction of manganese and the column leaching test showed 97% Mn extracted along with minimal amounts of calcium and iron dissolved by the SO2 (ref. Table 4 & Figure 3 in RI 9150).This U.S.B.M. report also contains the results for the (25) twenty-five samples originating from Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada and South Dakota. Those results from the Artillery Peak sample AZ-5 returned the highest recoveries in the shortest period of time.
- Artillery Peak deposits, particularly the MacGregor and Lake deposits, are amenable to open pit mining;
- The Company’s preliminary metallurgical studies have shown that Artillery Peak manganese leaches at large particle sizes (up to 3 inches) allowing the material to be easily reduced by inexpensive hammer mills omitting primary and secondary crushing units and grinding by ball or sag mills
- Infrastructure is easily accessible to the project areas as follows:
- 250 kv power is within 8km of the project area;
- Natural gas pipelines are within 11 km of the property;
- Historical and direct field observations indicate that sufficient water is available on the property itself from ground water aquifers located below the manganese beds. Additional water is available within 8km of the project area.
- A good surfaced gravel road accesses the property right into the project area.
- The nearest major population centre is Kingman, Arizona located about 2 hours by road north of the project area.
The preliminary economic assessment will describe the potential business opportunity that could be developed from the Artillery Peak Manganese Deposit. This Study will focus the direction of future feasibility studies, environmental permit applications and further drilling to move the resource into a measured and indicated category if warranted.
Michael MacLeod, P.Eng, past president and chief executive officer of Adanac Molybdenum Corporation (“Adanac”) and John W. Fisher, P.Eng, who headed up the metallurgical studies for Adanac will be assisting N. Tribe and Associates Ltd. on the economic evaluation study. Both professionals have extensive experience in feasibility, construction and operating of mining projects throughout the mining industry. Results of the preliminary economic assessment will be released once they are received.
Manganese is used in the production of iron and steel. As the demand for iron and steel rises the demand for manganese rises proportionally. Worldwide production of manganese alloys reached 11.8 million tonnes in 2006 (up 14% from 2005) and 13.3 million tonnes in 2007 (up 13.3% from 2006) with China producing 46% or 6.2 million tonnes. China is currently looking at measures to control production by increasing export taxes by 20%. The world production of Electrolytic Manganese Metal (pure Mn) is measured at approximately 1,000,000 tonnes in 2007 by the International Manganese Institute; prices are currently at $1.15 US/lb.
About Rocher Deboule Minerals Corp.
Rocher Deboule Minerals Corp. is a diversified exploration and development company focusing its attention on mineral properties and commodities used in the steel manufacturing industry and their British Columbia (IOCG) gold project.
This release has been reviewed by Norman L. Tribe, P.Eng, a qualified person pursuant to National Instrument 43-101.
On behalf of Management
ROCHER DEBOULE MINERALS CORP.
Larry W. Reaugh
President and Chief Executive Officer