Critical Elements increases Tantalum recovery rate by 50% in recent metallurgical advances
October 15, 2013 — Tracy Weslosky, Publisher of InvestorIntel interviews Jean-Sébastien Lavallée, President and CEO of Critical Elements Corporation (TSXV: CRE | OTCQX: CRECF) to discuss the company’s excellent stock performance and recently released positive optimization metallurgical test results from its flagship Rose property. Critical Elements is actively developing its 100%-owned Rose Lithium-Tantalum Project located in James Bay, Quebec.
Tracy Weslosky starts (TW): I’m here today with Jean-Sébastien Lavallée. How are you today?
Jean-Sébastien Lavallée (JSL): I’m pretty well.
TW: And of course you’re The CEO and President for Critical Elements Corporation. I get emails about you all the time and last week your stock was the second highest rising performer. You had some really big news having to do with metallurgy recently, and your Rose Tantalum-Lithium Project, is that correct?
JSL: Yes, in the last three weeks we’ve released two news releases about metallurgy; one about the lithium recoveries, the grade and the concentrate, and the other one is on the tantalum recoveries. We increased the recoveries of tantalum by 50%, so it’s significant for the project. It still needs to be validated by pilot plant testing and the Feasibility Study, but it can increase the production of tantalite by over 100,000 pounds per year.
TW: Your optimization numbers were very high, 90%+ with the tantalum, is that correct?
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JSL: The optimization is on the recovery. We’re doing an optimization program to increase the recovery. Initially in the PEA the recovery was around 50%, the recent results give us an average of 77.6% recovery on the tantalum.
TW: Could you give some of our audience, who might not understand tantalum as well as you do for instance, a little bit of a background about the advantages of tantalum and why your resource is so unique, specifically having to do with where most tantalum is found around the world.
JSL: Tantalum has a really specific application in that it can absorb a lot of heat and redistribute all of the energy in very small electronic devices. So this is why you have such small phones, computers, iPads, etc. Tantalum is used to build the capacitors in all the electronic devices (components that store electrical charge and control the flow of heat). It’s very important for electronic market. Our project is located in Quebec, so there is no political risk. It’s right at surface; it’s a by-product for us, so it’s very exciting for our company.
TW: Speaking of exciting, if you’re not hot for tantalum then you’re probably hot for lithium. And you’ve recently put out lithium results as well. Can you talk to us about what you have with your lithium resource please?
JSL: Yes, the objective of the recent optimization program was to simplify the flow sheet and reduce the OPEX for the project. We just released very positive results with a recovery of 90.88% on the lithium and a grade of 6.2% lithium in the concentrate. In addition to that, we announced that the iron contained in the concentrate and in the spodumene grains is very low, comparable to Talison and Tanco projects in Manitoba. It has opened a new area and a new market for our production.
TW: Jean-Sébastien, tell me what we need to do to get the Rose Tantalum-lithium project to the next stage?
JSL: We need to raise $268 million, but we’re working with the end users to find a way to raise this amount of money, by offtake agreements with possible prepayment. We’re working on different structures to try to achieve that milestone.
TW: Your stock has been moving very aggressively recently. What should we as shareholders and investors be looking forward to over the next 12 months?
JSL: Currently, we’re still working on the optimization testing. We’ll have more results on this program on the carbonation of the lithium and we’re working on the Feasibility Study. Those are the big milestones we are looking forward to achieving in the coming months.
TW: Thank you so much for joining us today.
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An accomplished entrepreneur Tracy Weslosky is the CEO for InvestorIntel Corp., a company that publishes InvestorIntel.com, a trusted source of online market information for investors ... <Read more about Tracy Weslosky>