Search Minerals Announces the Granting of a United States Patent for the Starved Acid Leach Technology (SALT) Process. Testing and Evaluation of SALT Continues

VANCOUVER, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Search Minerals Inc. ("Search" or the "Company") (TSXV: SMY) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alterra Resources Inc., are pleased to announce that the United States Patent Office has granted a United States patent for the Starved Acid Leach Technology (SALT).  United States Patent Number 8,361,191 was issued January 29, 2013 with the title "Low Acid Leaching of Nickel and Cobalt from Lean Iron-Containing Nickel Ores".  Dr. David Dreisinger (Vice President of Metallurgy and Director) and Jim Clucas (President, CEO and Director) are listed as the inventors with all patent rights assigned to Search.

Search expects to be able to treat lower grade saprolite ores and Caron plant residues by this technology and Search intends to seek out such deposits around the world.

Search is further pleased to announce that patent applications have been filed in several countries for nickel laterite processing using the SALT Process.  Separate applications have been lodged with the national patent offices in Brazil, Cuba, the Philippines, Australia, Europe (including the French overseas territory of New Caledonia), Indonesia, Colombia and the Organization of African States (including the Ivory Coast, the Republic of Cameroon and the Republic of Guinea).  The national patent applications will be examined by the respective national patent offices in each of these countries.  The national patents will be granted once the national patent applications comply with the requirements of the relevant patent office.

Search has now received a positive report from Votorantim Metais (Brazil) with respect to pilot plant testing of Caron plant waste materials from Niquelandia (Brazil). The report is under review and consideration by Votorantim and Search. Pilot plant testing of the Cipo nickel laterite project (Votorantim Novos Negócios Ltda) has also been successfully concluded. Evaluation of the technical results and the associated cost and engineering studies is ongoing.

Bench scale evaluation of a suite of nickel laterite samples from the Pomalaa deposit of PT ANTAM (Persero) Tbk has been conducted via a service agreement at the University of British Columbia Hydrometallurgy Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. David Dreisinger.  The results of the testing have been forwarded to PT ANTAM for review and comment.

About Search:
Search Minerals Inc. (TSXV:SMY) is a TSX Venture Exchange listed company, headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. Search is the discoverer of the Port Hope Simpson REE District, a highly prospective light and heavy REE belt located in southeast Labrador where the company controls a dominant land position in a belt 135km long and up to 12km wide.  In addition, Search has a number of other mineral prospects in its portfolio located in Newfoundland and Labrador, including a number of claims in the Strange Lake Complex, where Quest Rare Minerals has an earn-in agreement with the Company; and at the Red Wine Complex, where Great Western Minerals Group has a Joint Venture with the Company.

Furthermore, Search Minerals is the owner of the Starved Acid Leaching Technology (patents pending) ("SALT"), a process with the potential to economically recover nickel and cobalt from known deposits currently considered sub economic.

Search Minerals is led by a management team and Board of Directors with a proven track record in the mining industry. The Company has experienced geological and metallurgical teams led by Dr. Randy Miller and Dr. David Dreisinger, respectively.

All material information on the Company may be found on its website at www.searchminerals.ca and on SEDAR at sedar.com.

About PT ANTAM (Persero) Tbk

ANTAM(ASX:ATM; IDX:ANTM), is a vertically integrated, export-oriented, diversified mining and metals company.  With operations spread throughout the mineral-rich Indonesian archipelago, ANTAM undertakes all activities from exploration, excavation, processing through to marketing of nickel ore, ferronickel, gold, silver and bauxite.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility of the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

SOURCE Search Minerals Inc.



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