HENDERSON, Nev.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ireland Inc. (Pink: IRLD) today provided an interim update on the technical program of its ongoing precious metals extraction process at the Columbus Project, located in Esmeralda County, Nevada.
Based upon the laboratory success outlined in the last technical update on December 12, 2017, the technical team has since conducted several larger scale (200 – 400lbs.) tests at Ireland’s pilot plant in order to demonstrate the precious metals extraction process on a larger scale.
- In those tests, Ireland sought to determine if (a) the process to remove the refractory coating on the gold was repeatable and (b) the technical team could be assured that the first test results were not anomalous.
Technical Program Update
During the latest test runs, Ireland was not able to consistently repeat the removal of the refractory coating. A more powerful type of electron microscope (TEM) was then used to examine the particles suspended in the pregnant leach solution (PLS). The TEM examination clearly showed the precious metals were still encased in a coating. Previous analysis, using a less powerful electron microscope (SEM), indicated the precious metals were coated by silicates. However, the TEM has now shown that the coating on all minerals, including precious metals and silicates, is a carbon polymer (CP).
The barrier to precious metal extraction has now been identified as CP. The Company believes that the CP can be removed by either high oxidation leach and/or high temperature smelting.
- Samples of PLS have already been sent to a private lab that specializes in CP removal from leach solutions. IRLD expects to have the results of this work completed by that lab in approximately 30 days. After which time, the treated samples will be returned to IRLD for precious metal extraction testing.
- High temperature smelting tests are also underway on site at the pilot plant to determine if this approach will also remove the CP from the precious metals and allow their extraction. Results of these tests should also be known in about 30 days.
Next Conference Call
Ireland plans to host an investor conference call once is has both completed its own carbon removal work and has completed extraction tests on the material returned by the outside lab. At this time management anticipates an investor update conference call will be held by the end of March.
- As was reported in its Quarterly Report for the period ended September 30, 2017, Ireland had sufficient funds to continue with its current technical program into March 2018 without making changes to the operations program. With operational economies and reduction of services, the Company believes its current funds are sufficient into April 2018.
- Ireland is currently evaluating all expenses to extend its financial position as long as possible.
Readers are cautioned that the materials sampled for the tests shown above are all from a single area within the Columbus Project site, and may not be indicative of results for the rest of the North Sand Zone or the Columbus Project as a whole. Ireland believes that, because the project site is comprised of alluvial soil, mineralization deposits are wide spread throughout the Columbus Project site. Third party chain of custody protocols were not observed during current testing as Ireland personnel are assisting in sample collection and preparation. In addition, in the past, Ireland has encountered difficulties when attempting to translate extraction results achieved under laboratory conditions to the larger scale on-site pilot plant. Ireland believes that this risk is reduced because the current pilot plant was used in its most recent successful test work reported above.
About Ireland Inc.
Based in Henderson, Nevada, Ireland Inc. (www.irelandminerals.com) is a minerals exploration and development Company that targets properties containing large-scale deposits of precious metals in the southwestern United States. In early 2008, Ireland completed the acquisition of the Columbus Project located in Esmeralda County, NV, near Tonopah.
This document may include statements that constitute “forward-looking” statements, usually containing the words “believe,” “estimate,” “project,” “expect,” “plans” or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, Ireland’s limited operating history, future trends in mineral prices, the availability of capital, geological or mechanical difficulties affecting Ireland’s planned geological work programs, and uncertainties surrounding estimates of mineralized material. Extraction rates and mineralization grades from test results on individual samples may not be representative of extraction rates or grades that can be obtained from other samples or from commercial scale extraction efforts. Additional exploration work will be required to fully define the extent of the Columbus Project’s mineralized areas and before proved or probable mineral reserves can be established. There is no assurance that the results of Ireland’s exploration of pre-feasibility programs will result in a decision to enter into commercial production. In addition, Ireland’s actual financial and capital requirements may be greater than projected and there is no assurance that Ireland will be able to raise sufficient financing to proceed with its exploration and development plans or finance its ongoing business activities. Ireland undertakes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements in this document.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) permits U.S. mining companies to disclose in their filings with the SEC only “reserve estimates,” which are those parts of a mineral deposit that Ireland can economically and legally extract or produce at the time the estimate is made. Ireland may use certain terms in this press release such as “measured,” “indicated,” and “inferred” “resources.” SEC guidelines strictly prohibit U.S. registered companies from including these terms in their filings with the SEC. Further, inferred resource estimates generally may not be used as the basis for pre-feasibility or feasibility studies. There are no assurances that any resource estimates can be economically or legally extracted or produced or that any of these resource estimates will ever be converted to reserves. There are also no assurances that any inferred resource estimates will be converted into indicated or measured resources. The mineralization estimates provided in this release are based on internal calculations and have not been independently confirmed.
Investors are advised to carefully review the reports and documents that Ireland Inc. files from time to time with the SEC, particularly its Annual, Quarterly and Current Reports, which may be obtained from the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.