MGX Minerals Inc. (CSE: XMG) (OTC: MGXMF) has formed a business development and distribution partnership with Dong Bang Metal Co. Ltd. of Korea for metallurgical-grade silicon (3303). The partnership has executed a non-binding letter of intent outlining commercial terms, including grade, quantity, price, delivery and distribution plan. Under certain terms and conditions, Dong Bang will receive exclusive distribution rights for Asia, inclusive of Korea and Japan.
Metallurgical testing on a one-tonne sample from the company’s Gibraltar Silica deposit, located 95 kilometres northeast of Cranbrook, B.C., has indicated that the material is chemically suitable, as medium-quality feedstock, for metallurgical-grade silicon. The one-tonne sample of quartzite from Gibraltar was shipped to Dorfner Anzaplan, an independent laboratory, for mineralogical analyses through X-ray diffraction analysis, chemical analyses through X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, grain size distribution, mineral processing analysis, automated optical sorting and thermal stability testing. The sample was crushed and screened into fractions between 20 millimetres and 120 millimetres for evaluation of applicability of these fractions as feedstock for metallurgical-grade silicon production. Results indicate that the material, after comminution and classification fraction, is of high initial purity (99.5 weight per cent), making the fraction chemically suitable as medium-quality feedstock material for metallurgical-grade silicon metal production.
The demand for silicon metal continues to grow and recent supply chain bottlenecks have limited overall supply, creating an opportunity for the distribution of silicon in Asia from North America. Increased demand for solar panels, microprocessors and silicon alloys, due to their semiconductor and structural properties, continue to create large-scale shortages for silicon. The current quoted spot price of silicon 3303 grade in China is $2,100 (U.S.) per tonne
About the Gibraltar silica property
The Gibraltar silica property is located approximately 95 kilometres northeast of Cranbrook, B.C.
It covers a sedimentary clastic-carbonate rock package located near the confluence of Kootenay and White River. Sedimentary rocks generally have a north-northwest strike, but, locally, a north-northeast strike is prominent. Minor folding was noted in the carbonate sequence immediately adjacent to quartzite unit. Two westerly dipping thrust faults (Hay and Carter, 1988) are believed to run north-south close to the eastern edge of the Gibraltar property.
The company has completed five drill holes at Gibraltar. The holes were located at the Red Cloud (Gibraltar) quarry that was operated on a small scale in 1967. The objective of the drill program was to test subsurface dimensions of high-purity quartzite. The Gibraltar North zone has been sampled and mapped, and the area located about 400 metres north of the south zone represents the continuation of the Mount Wilson formation quartzite.
The Koot silica project is located proximate (five kilometres) to Gibraltar. The 2018 core drilling and geochemical sampling were carried out to evaluate mineral potential in a 180-metre-by-600-metre area (elongated northwest), located in the east portion of the Koot silica property in the area where quartzite is well exposed on a low-relief ridge. This coincides with the general area where Cominco Ltd. drilled eight holes in 1981.
Exploration drill results from 2018 are as shown in an attached table.
The processing of silica to silicon is a relatively simple process primarily dependent on high-quality feedstock. Additional ingredients of wood chips (for spacing) and metallurgical-grade coal (to reduce energy requirements and assist in even heat transfer) are required. Both of these ingredients as well as electricity, at a globally competitive price, are available in the region. The materials are top loaded into a submerged arc furnace (SAF) and heated to 1,600 C, melting the silica, which is then bottom poured into bricks, which are ground into three-inch to four-inch pieces for shipping. MGX has issued a global request for quotation (RFQ) from major furnace manufacturers with minimum specification of 1,000 tonnes per month, as outlined in the letter of intent.
Andris Kikauka, PGeo, chief executive officer of MGX Minerals, has prepared, reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information in this press release. Mr. Kikauka is a non-independent qualified person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101.
About MGX Minerals Inc.
MGX Minerals is a diversified Canadian resource and technology company with interests in strategic metals, precious metals and energy technologies.