Press Release, West High Yield Provides an In-Depth Update on Its Magnesium Project
Calgary, Alberta--(Newsfile Corp. - May 18, 2021) - West High Yield (W.H.Y.) Resources Ltd. (TSXV: WHY) ("West High Yield" or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update on the status of its permit application at its Record Ridge magnesium deposit located at Rossland, British Columbia ("Record Ridge" or the "Project") and on the progress and development of its proprietary metallurgical process to "Stage-2 PFS" by successfully conducting additional laboratory test work (the "Testing Project") at the facility (the "KPM Facility") owned and operated by Kingston Process Metallurgy Inc. ("KPM"). The Testing Project has been supported in part by advisory services and research and development funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (the "NRC IRAP").
Record Ridge Mining Permit
The Company initially retained Greenwood Environmental Inc. and SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. (together, the "Consultants") in 2019 to be co-lead consultants in pursuit of the industrial mineral mine permit (the "Permit") at Record Ridge. The Consultants assisted the Company in the submission of its Permit to the (then) British Columbia Ministry of Mines (the "Ministry") in February 2019. For Permits such as the one submitted by the Company, the Ministry has established a multi-step permit review process where major issues are identified upfront, followed by a detailed review. In 2019, the Consultants successfully completed a baseline and environmental study (the "Study") in response to a request from the Ministry. The results of the Study showed no major baseline or environmental issues at Record Ridge, thus satisfying the Ministry's initial permit review threshold. Subsequent review steps by the Ministry will focus on the details of the Project's environmental monitoring and management.
Further work on securing the Permit was put on hold by the Company in 2020 due to financial challenges attributed mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic. After having recently secured the necessary financing to cover the remainder of the Permit costs, West High Yield recently re-engaged the Consultants to resume their work on the Permit application process. The Company is currently in the third and final review stage mandated by the Ministry, such stage expected to require six to nine months to be completed and to obtain Ministry approval.
Metallurgical Process Development
Previous work in respect of the Testing Project was done in 2019 by KPM resulting in the completed "Stage-1 PFS", and demonstrated that the ore from Record Ridge can be successfully leached using proprietary hydrochloric acid ("HCl") leaching and that the resultant magnesium chloride (MgCl2) solution can be purified using standard hydrometallurgical techniques to >99 wt% MgCl2. It was concluded that this solution would be suitable to produce saleable high purity (>99%) magnesium oxide ("MgO") and magnesium hydroxide ("Mg(OH)2") products.
The Company re-engaged KPM in January 2021 to conduct "Stage-2 PFS" with the objective of continuing process development on the pathway to commercialization by performing a set of laboratory scale experimental test work to validate the designed flowsheet for production of high purity MgO and Mg(OH)2 products and saleable by-products including nickel chloride ("NiCl2"), nickel oxide ("NiO"), iron oxide ("Fe2O3") and silica ("SiO2"). The "Stage-2 PFS" phase of the Testing Project was supported in part by advisory services and research and development funding from the NRC IRAP.
On April 28, 2021, KPM reported successful test work results that validated the chemistry and process conditions proposed to produce high purity MgO main product, and nickel oxide, iron oxide and silica by-products. A technical grade >98wt% pure MgO as well as high grade, >99% MgO were achieved by the proposed 'static' roasting-washing-calcination process. Final results are expected shortly for the spray roasting process that was successfully tested.
High purity SiO2 was produced as by-product using chemical treatment of the initial leach residue. Fe solid residue was obtained in the Fe/Ni recovery section using pyrohydrolysis process from the solid filter cake obtained from magnesium chloride purification stream. This was further calcined to produce pure Fe2O3 by-product. Intermediate iron hydroxide FeO(OH) was obtained, which could also prove to be a valuable by-product. Finally, nickel chloride and oxide were also obtained in the subsequent tests. A preliminary commercial scale flowsheet and mass and energy balance were prepared based on the test results.
KPM recommended that the project proceed to the next stage that would include further test-work to study and optimize the various nickel, silica and iron by-products, followed by a techno-economic evaluation and preliminary engineering design and costing work as part of the prefeasibility study required ahead of a pilot demonstration of the process.
All of the aforementioned process work to date directionally demonstrates that the proprietary process has the potential to extract the highest purity products, with the highest yields, for the lowest comparable cost, with minimal environmental impact.
Statement from the Company
"We are very optimistic and excited with the progress that the Company is making in advancing the Record Ridge deposit through the pursuit of the mining permitting process, which has reached its final stage, and through further advancing our proprietary process development, having recently successfully finished Stage-2 PFS. We are also extremely pleased to have support from NRC IRAP for this project. As the Company advances to these critical stages of the Project, it is becoming increasingly aware of the value of the many years of continuous geological, environmental and processing works that have been completed at Record Ridge. West High Yield is very thankful for the dedication of its team and its partners to advance this important work in a current uncertain environment. The Company's recent financings put it in a strong position to continue to move Record Ridge forward toward finishing critical de-risking milestones," said Frank Marasco Jr., West High Yield's Chief Executive Officer and President.
About West High Yield
West High Yield is a publicly traded junior mining exploration and development company focused on the acquisition, exploration, and development of mineral resource properties in Canada with a primary objective to develop its Record Ridge magnesium deposit using green processing techniques to minimize waste and CO2 emissions.
West High Yield (W.H.Y.) Resources Ltd.
Frank Marasco, President and Chief Executive Officer
Telephone: (403) 660-3488
Facsimile: (403) 206-7159
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Information
This press release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. The forward-looking statements and information are based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by the Company. Although the Company believes that the expectations and assumptions on which such forward-looking statements and information are based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements and information because the Company can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct.
Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking information. Some of the risks and other factors that could cause the results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information include, but are not limited to: general economic conditions in Canada and globally; industry conditions, including governmental regulation; failure to obtain industry partner and other third party consents and approvals, if and when required; the availability of capital on acceptable terms; the need to obtain required approvals from regulatory authorities; and other factors. Readers are cautioned that this list of risk factors should not be construed as exhaustive.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is given as of the date hereof, and to not use such forward-looking information for anything other than its intended purpose. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in the United States. The securities of the Company will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "U.S. Securities Act") and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to, or for the account or benefit of U.S. persons except in certain transactions exempt from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act.
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