Robert Mackay, President and CEO of Stans Energy Corp. (TSX-V: HRE, OTCQX: HREEF), (“Stans” or the “Company”), is pleased to report that the Company’s Rare Earth (RE) technology partner, the Leading Russian Research Institute of Chemical Technology (VNIIHT), has successfully tested a contained, environmentally friendly process for extracting thorium, radium, and fluorine from Kutessay II RE concentrates. In addition to this achievement, VNIIHT’s new cracking method yielded a greater recovery of REs from historical concentrates – 95% at the impurity removal stage, and 93% at the nitrate-creation stage. The final product of these tests was a 98% pure combined RE Oxide (REO) nitrate solution. From this product, VNIIHT is currently conducting a further study, attempting to selectively extract each of the most valuable REOs: dysprosium, terbium, yttrium, neodymium, europium, and lutetium. Using current rare earth pricing, these six oxides account for nearly 85% of projected Kutessay II revenues.
Stans’ new cracking method for Kutessay II concentrate is likely to replace the historical process previously used at the Company’s Kashka Rare Earth Processing Plants 1, and part of Plant 2 (see www.stansenergy.com/rare-earth-processing for historical details). Results from this process will be incorporated into Stans Energy’s ongoing feasibility study work. Further details of the cracking process will be disclosed once patent attorneys have advised Stans and VNIIHT which stages in the process contain proprietary information and technology.
Robert Mackay, President and CEO of Stans Energy Corp., explained, “The cracking stage is the most crucial step in any rare earth production process, and therefore, the value of VNIIHT’s achievements cannot be understated. Stans is the only HRE Company with a hard rock deposit located outside of China that has a demonstrated ability to effectively, and cleanly remove impurities from its concentrate, attain a high level of recovery, while also producing a very pure, soluble REO nitrate for individual REO separation and RE metal fabrication. Although this process has not yet been implemented in any Kutessay II baseline environmental study or feasibility study, VNIIHT’s engineers are confident that this new, contained method of extracting thorium, radium and fluorine from Kutessay II HRE concentrate will provide both environmental benefits and increased profitability over the historical process. Additionally, I would like to add that VNIIHT’s engineers have designed a new process for creating an improved Kutessay II RE concentrate that will be tested in the coming months. Their stated goal is to obtain a minimum RE recovery of 80% from the mine to RE concentrate stage, using new flotation reagents.”
Summary of VNIIHT’s Cracking Study
A team of 37 of VNIIHT’s engineers, each specializing in various chemical engineering fields, were contracted to test innovative cracking methods, using a 100 kg sample of historical Kutessay II RE concentrate. The sample was composed of 80 minerals, of which 25 hosted REs; the majority contained within the minerals Xenotime, Yttrosynchysite, and Monazite. New flotation agents and other chemical reagents were used together with a system of autoclaves, precipitation tanks, and centrifuges, resulting in a method that exceeded historic extraction by 25-35%. The main cost associated with cracking is the energy required to create high temperatures and pressure, however, Kyrgyzstan’s industrial electricity cost of 4.4 cents/kWh provides Stans with a competitive advantage, making this new cracking process a viable option.
The Company also announces the extension of the contract for the Buick Group for the IR function, as per the press release dated August 7th, 2012.
The Russian Research Institute of Chemical Technology (VNIIHT) was founded in April 1951. VNIIHT’s objective was to focus on the exploration and development of technologies and raw materials for use in the Soviet nuclear energy sector. VNIIHT technologies were, and continue to be implemented during the main stages of the nuclear fuel cycle. This includes the processing of Uranium and Rare Metal Ores through to the generation of nuclear-pure materials. VNIIHT’s sixty years of chemical technology experience combined with their capabilities of executing the complete cycle of rare earths research, development, and production will give Stans Energy a significant advantage relative to its competitors outside of China.
We seek safe harbour.
President & CEO
Investor Relations, The Buick Group