MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Mar 19, 2013) - Matamec Explorations Inc. ("Matamec" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:MAT)(MHREF) is pleased to announce that the Company has received $1.041 million CDN from its Japanese partner Toyotsu Rare Earth Canada Inc. ("Toyota" or "TRECan"), a subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho Corp. ("TTC"). The goal of the Kipawa mine project is to supply Toyota with heavy rare earths ("HREE") for the production and marketing of hybrid and electric vehicles.
To date Matamec has received $14,236,608 CDN of the maximum $16M CDN for the completion of a definitive feasibility study on the Kipawa HREE deposit, which is on budget and track for completion by the end of the second quarter of 2013.
"The financial support that Matamec has received from Toyotsu is a clear indication to the market the progress which has been achieved in the completion of the feasibility study," said Andre Gauthier, President and CEO of Matamec Explorations. "Matamec''s team of professionals continues to deliver results. The Company is poised to become one of the first companies to supply heavy rare earths for hybrid and electric vehicles."
Under the terms of the Joint Venture Agreement ("JVA") by which TRECan can acquire 49% undivided interest in the Kipawa HREE Deposit, Matamec received $8.5M CDN for the first 25% undivided interest on July 18, 2012. To acquire the second 24% undivided interest, TRECan has to pay to Matamec a maximum amount of $7.5M CDN. The $1.041M CDN is the fifth of a number of successive payments in the completion of the $7.5M CDN, but the sixth overall payment received from TRECan. Matamec will transfer the 24% undivided interest to TRECan when it will receive a cumulative maximum amount of $7.5M CDN.
Since March 2012, the technical team working on the metallurgical development of the Kipawa project has progressed significantly. Extensive lab scale testing to develop and validate a process up to bulk carbonate production, also in parallel pilot plant testing and subsequent engineering was accomplished. Today, in conjunction with our project partners, final purification of the carbonate development is on-going as well as variability sample testing and optimisation. Many obstacles were overcome and the development continues to move forward positively.
Metallurgical Team Update
The Company announced that Mr. Paul Blatter, Director of Metallurgy has left Matamec effective March 15, 2013 in his role to pursue other interests. Matamec wishes to thank Paul for his contribution the past year in leading the metallurgy team to the solid position we are in today. Moving forward, we are now focused on the final purification processes. The Company feels confident in the team we have currently in place to complete the feasibility study, specifically Ms. Ngai and Mr. Hayden who have been involved the past two years with the Kipawa studies and have extensive experience including hydro metallurgy processes of rare earths.
Continued execution of the Kipawa metallurgy will be led by an experienced technical team with support from Toyota Tsusho Corporation network, SGS Geostat and specifically the following key members:
- Ms. Eliza Ngai, P. Eng., M. Eng., a Metallurgist with over eight years'' experience including Engineering consulting for an international engineering firm as a Process Engineer. Ms. Ngai joined Matamec in April 2011 and worked many years under the late Mr. Les Heymann, expert on rare earths.
- Mr. Alfred Hayden, P. Eng., a Metallurgist with over 40 years'' experience and a strong background specifically in hydro metallurgy. Mr. Hayden has been involved as an independent consultant since 2011 and will assume further responsibilities in the process design.
- Mr. Bertho Caron, P. Eng., VP Project Development and Construction with extensive years of experience in project development and start-up.
- Mr. Raynald Vézina, P. Eng., Director of Matamec and technical advisor for the Company is an engineer with more than 35 years'' experience in the mining industry who has worked with various jobs, including, Cambior, Placer Dome and Falconbridge. He successfully brought to production and / or exploitation of many mines.
Bertho Caron, VP Project Development & Construction (Eng.), Eliza Ngai, Metallurgist (Eng.) and Aline Leclerc, VP Exploration (Geo.) are Matamec''s Qualified Persons for this press release.
Mines & Money Hong Kong 2013
The Company also announced that Mr. Andre Gauthier, President and CEO, will present a corporate update at Mines and Money Hong Kong on Friday, March 22, 2013, at 12:50 p.m. at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Matamec will host a booth at the conference from Wednesday, March 20 to Thursday, March 21, 2013. For further information, please visit www.minesandmoney.com/HongKong.
About Toyotsu and TRECan
Established for more than 60 years and subsidiary of Toyota Motor Group, TTC is a general trading company that develops business together with over 400 consolidated group companies in Japan and overseas, with customers around the world, via a global network covering Japan and more than 60 other countries worldwide. TRECan is a subsidiary of TTC especially created for the Kipawa HREE deposit JVA. TTC has four rare earth projects globally including in India, Vietnam, Indonesia (HREE) and Canada (HREE Kipawa JV). For further information, please view the TTC 2012 Annual Report online.
Matamec Explorations Inc. is a junior mining exploration company whose main focus is in developing the Kipawa HREE deposit with TRECan. Following the positive conclusion of the PEA study filed on SEDAR in March 2012 and the hiring of a VP Project development and Construction, Matamec and TRECan decided to move directly to the feasibility study. The March 2012 press release highlighted that the project has robust economics such as: $606 million before-tax value (NPV8%), a 36.9% before-tax IRR, $2.8 billion revenue, $1.67 billion EBITDA, a before-tax payback period of 2.4 years, etc. (see press release dated January 30, 2012).
In parallel, the Company is exploring more than 35km of strike length in the Kipawa Alkalic Complex for rare earths-yttrium-zirconium-niobium-tantalum mineralization on its Zeus property.
The company is also exploring for gold, base metals and platinum group metals. Its gold portfolio includes the Matheson JV property located along strike and in close proximity to the Hoyle Pond Mine in the prolific mining camp of Timmins, Ontario.
In Quebec, the Company is exploring for lithium and tantalum on its Tansim property and for precious and base metals on its Sakami, Valmont and Vulcain properties. As well, it is exploring for gold together with Northern Superior Resources Inc. on the Lesperance/Wachigabau property.