Robert Mackay, President and CEO of Stans Energy Corp. (TSX-V: HRE, OTCQX: HREEF), (“Stans” or the “Company”), is pleased to report on the Company’s completed initiatives for 2012 and to outline the Company’s strategic objectives for 2013.
Last year, Stans faced a shortened field season due to administrative delays within the Kyrgyz State Geological Agency. Engineering and geological programs could not commence until the unanimous approval of Licence Agreement #3 was granted on June 15, 2012. Subsequently, a 30-day work stoppage was issued on August 30, 2012, which further shortened the 2012 Field Program. Nevertheless, the Company was able to continue its development of key components required for the project. Stans, together with its contractors succeeded in advancing the following initiatives:
- Engaged Ecoservice LLC to upgrade the paved road to the Kutessay II open pit, to design a 14.5-thousand m3 tailings impoundment, and to design a 1 million tonne per year mill.
- Engaged Asiarudproject CJSC for the engineering of a new mine complex design, and assessing combined open-pit and underground mine options to determine feasibility.
Design and Testing:
- Hired The Geomechanics and Subsurface Resources Development Institute under the National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan to define the mechanical properties of rocks from Kutessay II deep deposit levels and assess the open pit bench stability.
- Designed the power supply for the mine and processing facilities. (this task is for 2013)
- Analyzed 2,860.8 meters of drill core from 11 core holes at the Kutessay II deposit. The purpose of the drilling was to explore and delineate the extension of rare earth mineralization in the vicinity of the Central Deposit to depth, and to further delineate the new mineralized zones discovered at its flanks in 2011.
- Renovated and upgraded mine site facilities for the administrative building, machining and electric shop, and the instrumentation and automation site.
Metallurgical Process Confirmation:
- The Information Research Centre LLC (IRC LLC), in association with the Russian Research Institute of Chemical Technology (VNIIHT OJSC) successfully developed and tested a process flow sheet for milling of Kutessay II ore, including two-stage gravity preparation with concentrate finishing employing flotation. The recommended flow sheet achieved 65% TREE recovery and a minimum 5% TREE content of concentrate.
- VNIIHT OJSC successfully tested a new, environmentally friendly technology for extracting thorium and radium from Kutessay II RE concentrates, yielding a RE greater recovery – 95% at the impurity removal stage and 93% at the nitrate creation stage. The use of new flotation agents, along with more modern equipment, yielded a 25-35% increase in efficiency over historical techniques.
- VNIIHT OJSC conducted successful testing on this concentrate product to selectively extract specific rare earth oxides.
Based on the positive outcome of the 2012 program the Company is planning engineering and field programs in 2013 to resume fast-tracking production at Kutessay II. Several of these projects have commenced and the objectives for the coming year include:
- Testing of new milling techniques by IRC LLC, in coordination with VNIIHT OJSC. Research on Kutessay II milling, using innovative solvents for flotation is ongoing in an effort further to increase Heavy Rare Earth recoveries and decrease milling costs.
- Testing of new cracking and selective REO separation technology by VNIIHT OJSC. Summary report can only be publicized upon licensing by State Export Control Service Agency (license expected by the middle of April) .
Design and Engineering:
- Geological engineering and surveying of the new Milling and Processing (Cracking) site.
- Design of the new combined mining project (open pit/underground).
- Design of a new 1 million tonne per year mill and new Plant #1 (cracking facility).
- Design of a new 14,500 m3 tailings impoundment.
- Local projects consisting of: open pit mining operations preparation including local creek water diversion system, pit walls reinforcement, mechanical and electric shops, instrumentation and automation shop, fueling stations, mining camp.
- Overall road repairs to, and within the existing open-pit.
- Resampling and survey of historic mine site stockpiles.
- Renovating adits to provide access to underground workings for resampling to further define quantities of individual rare earth elements, in order to convert the existing JORC mineral resource estimate to NI 43-101 standard compliance.
- 1000 m drilling program to obtain samples for rock mechanics studies.
- Commencing an Environmental Impact Assessment for inclusion in a feasibility study.
Boris Aryev, COO of Stans Energy explained, “Stans Energy Corp is eager to resume its pace of infrastructure and engineering development of the project to regain the momentum lost in 2012. The company is commencing Pilot Plant Testing on proven, and improved upon milling, and cracking methods, while adding an innovative, selective REO separation process. Our strategic advantage in development, and proving REO technologies will allow the company to maintain a stronger treasury balance, while focusing expenditures on project and infrastructure development, instead of constant metallurgical testing on unproven REO extraction methods. Despite current uncertainty in capital markets, we remain steadfast on proving that the Kutessay II HREE mine is an excellent option for end-users to obtain a secure, non-Chinese HREE source. Implementation of our recent technological advancements in rare earth cracking and separation technologies at The Kashka Rare Earth Plant will demonstrate the Company’s progress towards being a leader in the Heavy Rare Earth sector, both to potential partners and to the market.”
About Stans Energy
Stans Energy Corp. is a resource development company focused on advancing Heavy Rare Earth (HRE) properties in areas of Central Asia and Russia. In December 2009, Stans acquired a 20-year mining license for the past-producing Kutessay II rare earth mine from the Kyrgyz Republic. On May 26, 2011 Stans completed the purchase of the Kashka Rare Earth Processing Plant (KRP) the same plant that previously refined REEs from Kutessay II ores. The KRP was the only hard rock plant to produce all rare earth elements outside of China, producing 120 different metals, alloys, and oxides. For over 30 years, Kutessay II produced 80% of the rare earth metals for the Former Soviet Union.
About VNIIHT OJSC
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 continue to be implemented in 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 Corp. a significant advantage relative to its competitors outside of China.
About IRC LLC
The Information Research Centre LLC is an internationally accredited laboratory under United Kingdom Accreditation Standards, Great Britain (Laboratory #4431), and the Kyrgyz Center of Accreditation (Accreditation Certificate #KG417/KCS.IL.007). The laboratory is accredited for compliance with the international standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005. The accreditation includes the determination of the concentration of elements using Atomic Absorption, Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry and X-ray fluorescence techniques.
About EcoService LLC
EcoService LLC has been retained as General Contractor of the project with the specific task of designing the milling and tailing facilities. The key engineers and leaders of the company have over 30 years of experience in the design-build of mining projects, from the Soviet period to the present. Two of their most recent projects were the design-build of the Ishtamberdy gold mine, and the Tudybulak gold mine, both in Kyrgyzstan. EcoService LLC is is the leading, fully licensed firm to carry out all work related to the design and construction of mining facilities in Kyrgyzstan.
Under Kyrgyz law, companies working on mining projects that have to be approved by the various State Agencies, must themselves be approved and licenced by the Kyrgyz Government
Asiarudproject Mining Planning-Production Company CJSC (Asiarudproject) has been retained for the mine design and planning. Asiarudproject has completed more than 90 designs and feasibility studies of mining enterprises. Twenty of which were implemented, including work on the Kumtor open pit for Centerra Gold Inc., together with preparation of a feasibility study for the underground mine portion. Asiarudproject is the leading licenced operator to conduct such work in Kyrgyzstan.
We seek safe harbour.
President & CEO
VP Corporate Development
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS: This document includes forward-looking statements as well as historical information. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, use of proceeds from the Offering, the completion of the Offering, the continued advancement of the company’s general business development, research development and the company’s development of mineral exploration projects. When used in this press release , the words “will”, “shall”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intent”, “may”, “project”, “plan”, “should” and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements. Although Stans Energy Corp. believes that their expectations reflected in these forward looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and no assurance can be given that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statement. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements include the potential that fluctuations in the marketplace for the sale of minerals, the inability to implement corporate strategies, the ability to obtain financing and other risks disclosed in our filings made with Canadian Securities Regulators.