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Kivalliq Announces Additional Positive Results From Metallurgical Tests And Radiometric Ore Sorting Study

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February 27, 2014

 
Kivalliq Energy Corporation (“Kivalliq”, TSX-V: KIV) today provided a project update for Kivalliq’s 340,268 acre Angilak Property located in Nunavut Territory, Canada. This release summarizes ongoing results from metallurgical and beneficiation testing performed on Lac 50 Trend uranium mineralization, including locked cycle alkaline leach tests, yellowcake precipitation, and a radiometric ore sorting study.

Kivalliq’s CEO Jim Paterson stated: “Our team continues to advance and de-risk the Angilak Property by evaluating potential uranium extraction and processing options. The combination of high uranium recoveries and low reagent consumption will have a positive impact on project economics. In addition, the radiometric sorting study demonstrated the potential to remove more than 50% of the waste rock prior to milling.”

Key Point Summary of Metallurgical and Beneficiation Testing

For Angilak Property data, tables, maps and figures please see: 
http://kivalliqenergy.com/uranium/archive/

Locked Cycle Leaching Test and Yellowcake Precipitation

In 2013, the Saskatchewan Research Council (“SRC”) in Saskatoon, SK, Canada commenced locked cycle alkaline leach testing on drill core samples from Kivalliq’s Lac 50 Trend uranium deposits. These tests were designed to simulate continuous leaching operations, optimize processing conditions to remove impurities and determine dosage of reagents required.  A final yellowcake product was also produced to confirm low impurity levels demonstrated by preliminary testing disclosed in Kivalliq’s news release of February 28, 2013.

“Results from ongoing metallurgical work at Lac 50 are very encouraging,” stated Chuck Edwards, Director, Metallurgy at AMEC Americas Limited.  “Initial locked cycle alkaline leach tests have confirmed that a proposed alkaline leach circuit for Lac 50 mineralization will require low levels of reagent consumption, resulting in positive cost implications on future plant operations.”

The locked cycle alkaline leaching tests show that after an initial charge of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate these reagents can be recycled.  Any additional leach reagent needed can be produced onsite by capturing the carbon dioxide extracted from exhaust gases of diesel generators typical in mining operations.  After initial start up, sodium hydroxide and lime are the only alkaline reagents that the alkaline leaching process will consume.

With a head grade of 0.77% U, an 8.7 kilogram composite sample derived from 49 drill core pulp rejects from 12 Lac 50 and J4 Zone drill holes was submitted to SRC for locked cycle leach tests as shown in Table 1. A total of 21 cycles were conducted at 70oC, 50% pulp density, 300 kPa of oxygen gas for up to 48 hours. Fresh alkaline solution, containing 50 g/L sodium carbonate and 20 g/L sodium bicarbonate, was only used in the first cycle to start the process. The other 20 cycles were performed in the recycled alkaline solutions after sodium diuranate precipitation and carbonation. Lime, as a calcium hydroxide solution, was used to precipitate and remove sulfate and other impurities.  To reduce consumption of sodium hydroxide, lime was also used to remove excess sodium bicarbonate from the leach solution. The sodium hydroxide consumption rate was determined to be 16.9 kg/tonne while the consumption rate for lime was 7.6 kg/tonne.  After sodium diuranate precipitation, excessive sodium hydroxide in the recycled barren solution was carbonated to produce sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate by introducing carbon dioxide gas.

The process conditions of leaching, impurity removal, sodium diuranate precipitation, and carbonation achieved high uranium leaching recovery (>95% in 48 hours), effective lime precipitation impurity removal with low uranium loss (<0.1%), high uranium recovery in the sodium diuranate precipitate (99.6%), and consistent solution regeneration for recycling.

Low Impurity Yellowcake Production

Sodium diuranate produced from each leach cycle was combined, dissolved in sulphuric acid, and precipitated as a single representative ammonium diuranate yellowcake final product.  The final uranium peroxide yellowcake product was analyzed at SRC for uranium and impurities. The results compared with Impurity Maximum Concentration Limits from ASTM C976-13 Standard Specification for Uranium Concentrate are shown in Table 2. The yellowcake produced contains 70.0% uranium and low impurity levels.  Boron and magnesium are marginally higher than penalty levels but significantly below reject levels. All impurities assayed meet ASTM C976-13 standards. The conditions for uranium peroxide yellowcake production are not yet optimized and will be the focus of future testing.  

Radiometric Ore Sorting Test

On September 11, 2013, Kivalliq released encouraging radiometric characterization results from a Preliminary Ore Sorting Investigation undertaken by TOMRA Sorting Inc. (“TOMRA”) of Surrey, BC, Canada. As follow up to this work, Kivalliq engaged TOMRA to undertake further radiometric ore sorting tests on 222.7 kilograms of half-split NQ core collected from Lac 50 Trend resource drilling.

The results from these most recent tests demonstrate a 96.7% cumulative uranium recovery in a mass recovery of 49.2% (i.e. 50.8% of the rock mass is rejected with a 3.3% loss of uranium) The testing also shows a 94.1% cumulative uranium recovery with a marked drop in mass recovery at 15.9% (i.e. 84.1% mass rejected with 5.9% loss of uranium). The testing reflects the high-grade uranium characteristics at Lac 50 where the majority of uranium mineralization occurs as disseminations and veins of massive pitchblende within the carbonate and hematite alteration zone comprising the Lac 50 Trend inferred resource.

"We are very pleased with the ongoing success of radiometric ore sorting studies. The substantial upgrading of uranium through sorting could have significant positive impacts on future mining and milling operations," stated Jeff Ward, President of Kivalliq Energy. "Kivalliq will conduct further testing on additional composites of Lac 50 Trend uranium mineralization to further refine and confirm repeatability of these excellent results.”  

Kivalliq provided TOMRA with a 222.7 kilogram composite sample from 4 drill holes, comprised of 46.4% “Mineralized Zone” and 53.6% barren wall rock “Waste”, to determine the removal of internal dilution and dilution introduced through mining.  The composite had a head grade of 0.21% uranium which included 103.4 kilograms of half split drill core from Lac 50 Zone and J4 Zone mineralization grading 0.45% uranium; and 119.3 kilograms of barren wall rock waste.  TOMRA screened the composite material into four size fractions: (1) +25mm; (2) +20mm -25mm; (3) +12mm -20mm; and (4) -12mm “fines”. The samples were scanned and sorted using a bench top radiometric unit configured to simulate a full-scale radiometric sorter (short integration recovery). Using the correlation between measured gamma counts and uranium grade from the September 2013 characterization study, the individual rock fragments in each size fraction were classified into 11 different radiometric groups (1 = barren & 11 = highest grade).  No sorting was performed on the -12mm “fine” fraction which was only 0.6% of the sample mass. The sorted sample groups were sent to SRC for Total Digestion ICP analysis. The recovery curves for the combined Mineralized Zone and Waste - All Size Fractions (no fines) including concentrate and tails grades are shown in Figure 1. The data for Figure 1 is included in Table 3.

TABLE 1. Calculated Head Grade Assay of 49 Drill Core Sample Composite

Composite Sample Assay, ppm
U
Ag
Pb
Cu
Zn
Mo
Total S
Sulfide
7,729
17.8
2,808
2,188
2,667
1,924
20,500
19,537


TABLE 2. Impurity Analysis of Kivalliq Yellowcake Product ASTM C976-13a

Specifications
Component
ASTM C967-13
(Mass%, Uranium Basis)
Kivalliqre
(Mass%, Uranium Basis)
 
Limit without Penalty
Limit without Rejection
Yellowcake Product
Uranium (U)
N/A
65% min.
70%
Arsenic (As)
0.05%
0.1%
0.0016%
Boron (B)
0.005%
0.1%
0.008%
Calcium (Ca)
0.05%
1%
<0.01%
Carbonate (CO3)
0.2%
0.5%
0.04%
Chromium (Cr)
N/A
N/A
<0.0001%
Fluoride (F)
0.01%
0.1%
<0.01%
Halides (Br, Cl, I)
0.05%
0.1%
<0.002%
Iron (Fe)
0.15%
1%
<0.01%
Lead (Pb)
N/A
N/A
<0.0001%
Magnesium (Mg)
0.02%
0.5%
0.05%
Moisture (H2O)
2%
5%
0.2%
Molybdenum (Mo)
0.1%
0.3%
0.003%
Phosphorus (PO4)
0.1%
0.7%
<0.01%
Potassium (K)
0.2%
3%
<0.01%
Selenium (Se)
N/A
N/A
<0.001%
Silica (SiO2)
0.5%
2.5%
0.07%
Silver (Ag)
N/A
N/A
<0.001%
Sodium (Na)
1%
7.5%
<0.01%
Sulfur (S)
1%
4%
0.16%
Thorium
0.1%
2.5%
<0.0001%
Titanium
0.01%
0.05%
0.009%
234U
56 µg/gU
62 µg/gU
55.2 µg/gU
Vanadium (V)
0.06%
0.3%
0.003%
Zirconium (Zr)
0.01%
0.1%
<0.001%


FIGURE 1. TOMRA Radiometric Ore Sorting Results
Mineralized Zone & Waste (All size fractions - no fines)





TABLE 3. TOMRA Radiometric Ore Sorting Results
Mineralized Zone & Waste (All size fractions - no fines)

Set Points
(counts/mass/second)
Mass Pull to
Concentrate
(Mass %)
Cumulative
Recovery
(U %)
Concentrate
Grade
(U %)
Tails
Grade
(U %)
250
1.1%
28.3%
5.37%
0.15%
100
3.5%
86.9%
5.20%
0.03%
80
3.7%
87.0%
4.93%
0.03%
40
5.1%
88.0%
3.59%
0.03%
20
8.5%
91.4%
2.26%
0.02%
10
15.9%
94.1%
1.24%
0.01%
1
49.2%
96.7%
0.41%
0.01%

 
QA/QC

The SRC facility operates in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025:2005 (CAN-P-4E), General Requirements for the Competence of Mineral Testing and Calibration laboratories and is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada. Samples are analyzed by SRC's ICP-OES multi-element ICP1 assay method and results are reported in parts per million (ppm). 1 ppm = 1g/tonne; 10,000 ppm = 1%.  ICP U assays in ppm can be converted to % U3O8 as follows: % U3O8 = ppm U x 0.01179

TOMRA (formerly Commodas Ultrasort and Terra Vision) are leaders in the specialized field of sensor-based sorting technology for the mining industry. Experience from 15 test facilities worldwide have led to significant advances in automated material identification and sorting for the mining and mineral processing industries.

Jeff Ward, P.Geo, President of Kivalliq and a Qualified Person for Kivalliq, has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this release. For disclosure related to the inferred resource for the Lac 50 Trend uranium deposit, please refer to Kivalliq’s news release of March 1, 2013.

About Kivalliq Energy Corporation

Kivalliq Energy Corporation (TSX-V: KIV) is a Vancouver-based uranium exploration company holding Canada’s highest-grade uranium resource outside of Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Its flagship project, the 340,268 acre Angilak Property in Nunavut Territory, hosts the Lac 50 Trend with a NI 43-101 Inferred Resource of 2,831,000 tonnes grading 0.69% U3O8, totaling 43.3 million pounds U3O8. Kivalliq’s comprehensive exploration programs continue to advance the Lac 50 Trend and demonstrate the “District Scale” potential of the Angilak Property.

Kivalliq’s team of northern exploration specialists have forged strong relationships with sophisticated resource sector investors and Angilak Property partner Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (“NTI”). Kivalliq was the first company to sign a comprehensive agreement to explore for uranium on Inuit Owned Lands in Nunavut Territory, Canada and is committed to building shareholder value while adhering to high levels of environmental and safety standards and proactive local community engagement.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

"Jim Paterson"
James R. Paterson, CEO
Kivalliq Energy Corporation

For further information about, Kivalliq Energy Corporation or this news release, please visit our website at www.kivalliqenergy.com or contact Investor Relations toll free at 1.888.331.2269, at 604.646.4527, or by email at info@kivalliqenergy.com

Kivalliq Energy Corporation is a member of the Aurora Mineral Resource Group of companies, for more information please visit www.auroraresource.com.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Certain disclosures in this release constitute forward-looking statements that are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors relating to Kivalliq's operations as a mineral exploration company that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements, including risks as to the completion of the plans and projects. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Other than as required by applicable securities legislation, Kivalliq expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Cautionary Note concerning estimates of Inferred Resources:

This news release uses the term “inferred resources”. Inferred resources have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Kivalliq advises U.S. investors that while this term is recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission does not recognize it. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of an inferred resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable.