TORONTO, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ - IC Potash Corp. ("ICP" or the "Company") (TSXV: ICP) is pleased to announce that the Company will begin its potash bulk sampling program on January 15, 2011. The program will provide a bulk sample of potash from its Ochoa Project which is located in south east New Mexico. The bulk sample will be used for pilot test programs to optimize processes to convert the resource into Sulphate of Potash ("SOP"). The sample will also be used to confirm results identified in previously published tests and to further demonstrate the robust commerciality of our Ochoa Project.
Pilot testing will be performed by independent research group, Hazen Research, Inc. of Golden, Colorado ("Hazen"). Hazen's services will include work on the adaptation of the known technologies, followed by pilot scale testing. Over the past 50 years, Hazen has completed projects over a wide range of thermal processing applications, minerals beneficiation, leaching, and precipitation.
Randy Foote, Chief Operating Officer, stated: "We are very pleased with the designs for the bulk sample drill program which will provide sufficient ore for the testing and optimization of all processing steps. The recommended leaching processes have been pilot tested twice. The United States Bureau of Mines carried out the first pilot test during the 1930's. hen, during the 1950's, a private industry potash producer further pilot tested the entire process. We will first verify those pilot tests and then continue to optimize our processes. The planned SOP production process will include solar evaporation. Solar evaporation processes are currently in use by those producers who generate Sulphate of Potash from salt lake brines."
Sidney Himmel, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated: "I am very pleased with the results produced by our outstanding team of potash geologists and chemical engineers. These industry leading professionals will ensure that all testing and optimization will be performed on an efficient and effective basis. The bulk sampling program is a critical step moving IC Potash forward towards production."
There is a high demand for SOP by producers of fruits, vegetables, horticultural crops, and tobacco. IC Potash Corp. has direct access to potassium and sulfate, as these nutrients are contained in the company's polyhalite mineral resource. Sulphate of Potash is the world's premium quality potash and sells at a premium price compared to regular potash known as Muriate of Potash. While the price of Muriate of Potash is now between $375 and $400 per long ton, the price of granular Sulphate of P`otash ranges from $550 to $600. Thus fertilizer production companies, such as IC Potash Corp., benefit from the price differential. The SOP price advantage has ranged from 40% to 100% over the last forty years.
All scientific and technical disclosures in this press release have been prepared under the supervision of William J Crowl, a consultant to IC Potash who is a Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101.
IC Potash intends to become a primary producer of Sulphate of Potash ("SOP") by mining its 100%-owned Ochoa property in New Mexico. SOP is a non-chloride based potash fertilizer that sells at a substantial premium over the price of Muriate of Potash ("MOP"), the most widely used fertilizer in the world. ICP's Ochoa property consists of over 100,000 acres of federal subsurface potassium prospecting permits and State of New Mexico Potassium mining leases.
Certain information set forth in this news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the control of ICP, including, but not limited to, risks associated with mineral exploration and mining activities, the impact of general economic conditions, industry conditions, dependence upon regulatory approvals, and the uncertainty of obtaining additional financing. Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements.
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SOURCE IC Potash Corp.