White Mountain Issues Research Update on Chinuka Process

Jun 05, 2013, 06:00 ET from White Mountain Titanium Corporation

SANTIAGO, Chile, June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- White Mountain Titanium Corporation ("White Mountain" or the "Company") (OTCQB Markets: WMTM - News) reports that it has received an update on Company-funded research activities from Chinuka Ltd. ("Chinuka"). White Mountain holds a sub-license to use Chinuka's patented electro-refining process (the "Chinuka Process") to produce titanium metal directly from a variety of titanium oxide concentrates and in this regard has been funding research at the University of Cambridge since 2010 under the direction of Professor Derek Fray. To-date, Company-funded research on the Chinuka Process has focussed principally on the production of titanium metal using natural rutile concentrate from the Cerro Blanco project as the process feedstock.

In its six-monthly report to the Company, Chinuka provided further evidence of the applicability and capability of the Chinuka Process to treat a range of Cerro Blanco natural rutile concentrates, ilmenite concentrate and combinations of natural rutile and ilmenite concentrates to produce titanium metal. Furthermore, Chinuka reported that it has produced niobium metal from a niobium oxide feedstock using the Chinuka Process. These results demonstrate that the Chinuka Process is not metal specific and holds forth the possibility to adapt the process to produce electro-refined metal from several transition elements which have the capability to form an oxy-carbide.

With specific reference to their research activities on titanium, Chinuka summarised the following points:

  • In anticipation of taking research to a pilot stage as a next step, test work is now being conducted using a recently commissioned, larger reactor.  Lab results have materially benefited through the perfection of a method to enrich the salt electrolyte.
  • The Chinuka Process has successfully treated titanium dioxide feedstocks with characteristics that otherwise would prevent their upgrading to useful products in paints and pigments, i.e. feedstocks with small particle size or high alkali / alkaline-earth content.
  • The Chinuka Process has successfully demonstrated a capability to treat high and low grade / purity titanium dioxide feedstocks to produce titanium metal which could be significantly beneficial in terms of cost and potential use in future titanium metal production, particularly given the dwindling stocks of high-purity natural rutile.
  • The Chinuka Process has the ability to electro-refine titanium dioxide concentrate directly into titanium powder, powder being the most valued of all primary titanium metal products.
  • Additional benefits that the Chinuka Process is exhibiting over other, more conventional, titanium sponge production processes include comparatively low operating temperatures; a cheap, water soluble, non-toxic electrolyte and low power consumption.

For the balance of the current year, Chinuka will focus solely on optimization of the Chinuka Process for the production of titanium metal at a pilot scale. Work will be directed at further testing process variables, developing a strong understanding of the overall costs and process economics as well as preparing a time-line and budget for the pilot stage.

Commenting on these developments, Michael Kurtanjek, White Mountain's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We remain impressed by the quality of the research and progress that Chiuka has made at the University of Cambridge.  Not only is the Chinuka Process demonstrating a capability of producing high value, titanium metal powder directly from a range of potential feedstocks but it has as well shown itself to be versatile and applicable to other transition elements.  In our discussions with investors and other titanium industry players, the Chinuka Process is garnering attention from many quarters outside the world of academia."

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, to secure off-take contracts for the planned rutile concentrate output, and to secure funding or other arrangements to place the project into production, if warranted. 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.

OTCQB Markets 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, 2012, 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            

Brian Flower, Executive Vice-President

(562) 2 657-1800                               

(604) 408-2333

SOURCE White Mountain Titanium Corporation