Botswana Project Update: Potassium at Elevated Levels Confirmed in Tailings
February 26, 2014 (Source: Marketwired) — Great Quest Metals Ltd. (the “Company” or “Great Quest”) (TSX VENTURE:GQ)(FRANKFURT:GQM) is pleased to report that, further to the recent management’s visit to the Botswana Ash (Pty) Ltd. (Botswana Ash) Sua Pan Potash project in Botswana, preliminary investigations indicate the mine effluent (also called bitterns or tailings), after it has passed through the existing Soda Ash and Salt processing plant, carries an increased concentration of potash (KCl) compared with native brine. This optimal situation allows Great Quest to plan a potash recovery operation as a simple expansion to the existing processing facility, getting full benefit of the entire infrastructure already in place.
KCl concentrations in bitterns are reported to exceed 10.9 grams per litre (g/L), which is more than a 100% improvement over the native brine concentration of 4.3 g/L as measured by Botswana Ash. This compares favorably with potash concentration in the brine from the Dead Sea of 6.2 g/L, as indicated in various publicly available publications, where active brine recovery plants operate.
Onsite analysis by the Great Quest team reported potassium ion levels higher than the reported KCl concentrations in the bittern, suggesting that KCl may not be the only potassium compound present. The presence of potassium sulphate has been noted in historical work and if such presence is confirmed, the tailings recovery process would be optimized accordingly.
Botswana Ash has reported that brine resources for its plant at Sua Pan extend to 2035 with consistent concentration of constituent ions. Botswana Ash is currently updating its resource estimate and is expected to confirm a longer life of the potash reserves, which would be favorable for the Great Quest tailings project under study.
With the presence of the potash confirmed and location in the process known, the company will immediately move towards a definitive agreement with Botswana Ash and work towards a preliminary economic assessment of the new tailings project.
Commenting, Jed Richardson CEO, adds, “Great Quest is pleased with the prospect of this addition to our portfolio. Botswana has established itself as a business friendly jurisdiction and the project is well located in the midst of a region with a mix of established and new agricultural investment. This unique brownfield opportunity complements our operations in Mali and extends our strategy of developing African projects for African markets.”
While the indications of this preliminary investigation are positive readers are cautioned that there is no known National Instrument 43-101 defined mineral resource of potash at the Sua Pan. References to quantities are related here for background information only. There is no assurance that any resource will be located at the Sua Pan, or if located, that such resource might be profitably extracted.
The technical information of this news release has been reviewed and approved by Jed Diner (P. Geol), a qualified person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101.
About Great Quest
Great Quest Metals Ltd. is a Canadian mineral exploration company focused on the development of African agricultural mineral projects for local production of farm ready fertilizers. The Company’s flagship asset is the Tilemsi Phosphate Project, encompassing 1,206 km² in northeastern Mali, containing high quality phosphate resources amenable to use as direct application fertilizer. Great Quest is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol GQ, and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol GQM.
About Botswana Ash (Pty) Ltd
Botswana Ash (Pty) Ltd began operating in April 1991. The mine is located at Sua Pan, which is approximately 180 kilometers from Francistown in northern Botswana. Botswana Ash produces soda ash and Salt. The primary market for soda ash is South Africa, where most of the product is used in the glass industry. The nameplate production capacity of the soda ash plant is 300,000 tonnes per annum. The plant also produces fine and coarse salt with a combined production capacity of 650,000 tonnes per annum. The mine is connected to South Africa by road and rail, the latter being operated by Botswana Railways. Botswana Ash is 50/50 joint venture between the Botswana Government and managing partner Chlor Alkali Holdings (CAH) Group of South Africa.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF GREAT QUEST METALS LTD.
Jed Richardson, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. The statements that are not historical facts and are forward-looking statements involving known and unknown risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to vary materially from the targeted results. We seek safe harbor.
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