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MEI Online: Hydrometallurgy: Latest News: February 21st 2013


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:: Search Minerals Announces the Granting of a US Patent for the Starved Acid Leach Technology (SALT) Process


Search Minerals Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alterra Resources Inc., are pleased to announce that the United States Patent Office has granted a United States patent for the Starved Acid Leach Technology (SALT). United States Patent Number 8,361,191 was issued January 29, 2013 with the title "Low Acid Leaching of Nickel and Cobalt from Lean Iron-Containing Nickel Ores". Dr. David Dreisinger (Vice President of Metallurgy and Director) and Jim Clucas (President, CEO and Director) are listed as the inventors with all patent rights assigned to Search.

Search expects to be able to treat lower grade saprolite ores and Caron plant residues by this technology and Search intends to seek out such deposits around the world.

Search is further pleased to announce that patent applications have been filed in several countries for nickel laterite processing using the SALT Process. Separate applications have been lodged with the national patent offices in Brazil, Cuba, the Philippines, Australia, Europe (including the French overseas territory of New Caledonia), Indonesia, Colombia and the Organization of African States (including the Ivory Coast, the Republic of Cameroon and the Republic of Guinea). The national patent applications will be examined by the respective national patent offices in each of these countries. The national patents will be granted once the national patent applications comply with the requirements of the relevant patent office.

Search has now received a positive report from Votorantim Metais (Brazil) with respect to pilot plant testing of Caron plant waste materials from Niquelandia (Brazil). The report is under review and consideration by Votorantim and Search. Pilot plant testing of the Cipo nickel laterite project (Votorantim Novos Negócios Ltda) has also been successfully concluded. Evaluation of the technical results and the associated cost and engineering studies is ongoing.

Bench scale evaluation of a suite of nickel laterite samples from the Pomalaa deposit of PT ANTAM (Persero) Tbk has been conducted via a service agreement at the University of British Columbia Hydrometallurgy Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. David Dreisinger. The results of the testing have been forwarded to PT ANTAM for review and comment.




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