White Mountain Reports on Progress at the Cerro Blanco Project and Comments on Continuing Strength in Titanium Pigment and Feedstock Markets
SANTIAGO, Chile, May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- White Mountain Titanium Corporation ("White Mountain" or the "Company") (OTC Bulletin Board: WMTM) reports that work is accelerating at the Company's Cerro Blanco project in Chile as management, operational staff and consultants achieve milestones and advance the project towards final engineering feasibility.
As reported in a news release of April 6, 2011, assay data from a completed in-fill drill program at the Las Carolinas prospect consisting of 54 diamond drill holes totalling 7,047 meters has now been received. Geological staff and outside technical consultants are updating a new resource model and undertaking Whittle pit design work for mine planning purposes. In addition, the Company's environmental consultant, Arcadis Geotechnica, has been contracted to begin the final phase of winter baseline field monitoring at the Las Carolinas prospect. Data from this and past monitoring studies will form the basis of an environmental impact study for the Cerro Blanco project.
Over the course of the next few weeks, management will begin to evaluate technical proposals from qualified engineering firms for final engineering and process design work. Depending on results from test work currently underway, the final process design may include a sodium feldspar recovery circuit. Management recently visited SGS in Lakefield, Ontario where test work to produce a commercial grade sodium feldspar concentrate for glass and ceramics application is nearing completion. The sodium feldspar concentrate would be produced as a by-product from rutile flotation tailings. If this test work and follow on marketing are successful, the sale of sodium feldspar could have a significant positive impact on overall project economics. Results from this test work are expected within the next few weeks.
With respect to markets, both titanium pigment and feedstock markets remain very robust. DuPont, already the world's largest producer of titanium dioxide pigments, has announced double-digit price increases and an expansion plan that will add approximately 771 million pounds of global capacity. Expansion amongst pigment producers comes at a time when the supply of the various forms of titanium feedstock used to make pigment is in deficit.
Industry observers expect that the supply of titanium feedstock to remain in deficit for several years and that prices will continue to increase. By way of example, several websites have reported that spot prices for ilmenite and titanium slag in China have more than doubled in 2011. One website, "asiametal.com", has reported May 2011 spot prices for 92% TiO2 titanium slag feedstock of US$ 1385 – 1400 per tonne equivalent, nearly twice the US$ 747 they were quoting in January 2011.
The Company has been advised by its titanium marketing consultant that as titanium slag would normally be considered an inferior feedstock compared to rutile, recent spot price increases for slag suggest that medium-term contract prices for rutile - which would comprise all of White Mountain's proposed production - could approach or possibly exceed US$ 1000 per tonne. Given these price developments for rutile and the fact that the Cerro Blanco project is being advanced towards final engineering feasibility, the Company is increasingly being approached by parties interested in supplying services to and financing development of the project, securing rutile concentrate under long-term contract and collaborating on the Chinuka titanium metal technology.
About White Mountain Titanium Corporation
The Company holds mining concessions on the Cerro Blanco property currently consisting of 33 registered mining exploitation concessions and five mining exploration concessions in the process of being constituted, over approximately 8,225 hectares located approximately 39 kilometres west of the City of Vallenar in the Atacama, or Region III, geographic region of northern Chile. The Company's principal objectives are to advance the Cerro Blanco project towards a final engineering feasibility, and to secure off-take contracts for the planned rutile concentrate output. It would be the intention to sell the rutile concentrate to titanium metal and pigment producers. Work also continues to investigate the commercial viability of producing a feldspar co-product. The feldspar could find applications in the glass and ceramics industries.
The OTC BB has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and, therefore, involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors—The United States Securities and Exchange Commission permits mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. We may use certain terms in our press releases and on our website, such as 'reserves,' 'resources,' 'geologic resources,' 'proven,' 'probable,' 'measured,' 'indicated,' and 'inferred,' that the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in our filings with the SEC. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our annual report on Form 10K for the year ended December 31, 2007, File No. 333-129347, and in subsequent filings with the SEC. You can review and obtain copies of our filings from the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.
White Mountain Titanium Corporation
Michael Kurtanjek, President
(56) 2 657-1800
Brian Flower, Chairman
SOURCE White Mountain Titanium Corporation