I-Minerals’ Crystal-Clear Quartz Rally
For a mine, successfully reaching the pilot-plant stage is like SpaceX bringing down a falcon rocket upright for the first time. The seemingly endless drill-cores and studies transition into construction and product samples; permits come through, agreements are made, and lo-and-behold, stocks climb.
For I-Minerals Inc. (TSXV: IMA | OTCQB: IMAHF) (“IMA”), their ability to produce some of the highest purity quartz in the industry has caused quite the stir, even sparking a legal row thought to be an aggressive and anti-competitive move by a multinational high purity quartz producer. The settlement of the litigation culminated in complete victory for I-Minerals at the end of last year, allowing them to continue development of their pilot plant unabated and generate an astonishing year-to-date, return on stocks of 57.89%.
IMA holds the largest known resource of Halloysite suitable for the high value life sciences market. With the other three minerals Quartz K-Spar and Kaolin profitable on their own, IMA is poised to be the lowest cost highest quality Halloysite producer on earth.
The company’s trial products have received significant responses, with remarkable test results, further corroborated by interest from potential clients, including major infrastructure construction and cement companies.
The relatively simple mine leaves little environmental impact, meaning that the permitting stage is advancing smoothly; the company has already received approval from the Idaho Department of Water Resources, granting them access to aquifers and surface water for use in mineral processing.
Pilot plant work at the site also produced an exceedingly high quality potassium feldspar (“K-spar”) product. Fortispar™ results have been outstanding, generating some of the best chemistries of any K-spar product available anywhere. The K-spar is the initial product, it is simply floated while the quartz sinks. Samples sent to customers as part of the company’s continuing marketing efforts were met with requests for more, usually a good sign.
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TrueQ™, the company’s high purity quartz product, was proven suitable for high-end industrial applications such as solar, specialty and display glass, fine ceramics and glaze markets. Opportunities also exist for TrueQ™, as a feedstock for certain ultra-high purity quartz solutions and potentially the sodium silicate manufacturing industries. Based on analytical testing to date, an extra chemical process will open up even more higher value markets including fiber optics and LED lighting; both vital features of the ever-growing electronics and communications industries.
Given that customer feedback has been so strong, upon completion of the K-spar pilot plant, an additional quartz pilot plant will be commissioned. Several years worth of semi-processed resources are already present in the form of a mineral rich clay that remains from previous operations at the site.
A robust Feasibility Study confirms I-Minerals Inc. will be a low cost producer of four unique high value industrial minerals; K-spar, high purity quartz, kaolin and halloysite. Measured and indicated resources of 11.2 million tonnes of the particularly impressive feldspar ore are present at the Idaho site, with a mine-life of twenty-five years, and a considerable number of achievements so far this year, it offers amazing value as either a short or long-term security.
Lara has been an analyst for over ten years, starting her career as an equity analyst at Foord Asset Management and more recently as the ... <Read more about Lara Smith>