- Analysis confirms production of high purity silicon metal in all tests
- Extremely low impurity levels exceed lab detection capabilities
- Results Enter Project into next phase
- Testing protocol moving forward
MONTREAL, QUEBEC–(June 29, 2016) - Uragold (TSX VENTURE:UBR)(FRANKFURT:UGE)(OTC PINK:URAGD) is pleased to inform its shareholders that INRS – ETE (Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Eau Terre Environnement) Laboratory in Quebec City has advised Uragold that the first batch of samples produced by the PUREVAP™ Quartz Vaporization Reactor (QVR) following restart (May 25, 2016 Press Release) have been analyzed.
ANALYSIS CONFIRMS PRODUCTION OF HIGH PURITY SILICON METAL IN ALL TESTS
Multiple surface readings were completed using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) associated with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX) on samples T6, T7 and T9. The analyses confirm production of High Purity Silicon Metal (Si) by the PUREVAP™ QVR during all of the tests but the final purity level in ppb (parts per billion) is yet to be determined.
EXTREMELY LOW IMPURITY LEVELS EXCEED LAB DETECTION CAPABILITIES
Of significant interest is the fact that 22 different readings of 100% Si were observed. This can be attributed to the fact the impurity levels of the samples are so low that they were below the impurity detection level of the method utilized by INRS – ETE (1,000 ppm). As such, the method used detected purity levels greater than 99.9% Si and were rounded up to 100%. This first pass analytical process confirms the ability of the PUREVAP™ process to create high purity silicon metal exceeding 99.9% and the samples will now been sent to a specialized laboratory in the United States to determine the precise purity levels of the Silicon Metal.
“We are encouraged by these results as they confirm our expectations of our PUREVAP™ process,” said Pierre Carabin, Director of Engineering of PyroGenesis. “We are looking forward to receiving the additional tests results from the specialized laboratory in the US. In the meantime, we continue to pursue our testing program.”
Bernard Tourillon, Chairman and CEO of Uragold stated, “These test results represent a significant milestone as one of the key goals of our project has been reached – the establishment of a high purity (99.9+%) baseline for the material produced by the reactor. Reaching our goal of transforming Uragold Quartz into Solar Grade Purity Silicon seems even more attainable.”
RESULTS ENTER PROJECT INTO NEXT PHASE
At the outset, theoretical modeling of the process indicated that transforming Uragold Martinville Raw Quartz into High Purity Silicon Metal was feasible. Today’s results now validate this. Therefore, the program is now moving beyond the metallurgical testing phase into an R&D program strictly focused on improving the PUREVAP™ QVR beneficiation capability for the express purpose of determining maximum purity and advancing to the pilot plant stage.
TESTING PROTOCOL MOVING FORWARD
The original test protocols called for any material that exceeded the lower limit of detection of the SEM-EDX to be further tested using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) analysis. The Lab has advised the INRS that it lacked a High Purity Silicon Quality Assurance Standards for LA-ICP-MS analysis in order to validate results. Furthermore, because of contamination risk associated with the Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry testing, it was decided the material should be sent to a specialised laboratory in the US for neutron activation analysis (NAA) testing.
The SEM-EDX analysis were completed at the INRS – ETE laboratory in Quebec City.
The scanning electron micrographs (SEM) USED are Carl Zeiss EVO® 50 smart SEM equipped with a range of imaging detectors, including: an Everhart-Thornley Secondary Electron Detector, for topographic image.
Backscattered electron (BSE) images allow the viewing of images in chemical contrast, depending of the mean atomic number of the specimen. The systems use a 4 Quadrant backscattered electron detector (QBSD).
The elemental analysis of the particles present on the surface is enabled by an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS) Microanalysis System (model: Oxford Instruments, INCAx-sight EDS Detectors). This EDS is a Lithium drifted Silicon detector Si (Li). EDS can detect element from Beryllium (z=4) to Uranium (z=92). This detector must be operated at liquid nitrogen temperatures.
- EDS Resolution: 133 eV.
- Detection limits: 1,000 ppm
Settings used for the analysis: Accelerating voltage usually used is 20 kV, Working distance: WD: 8.5 mm for EDS analysis, for image in SE.
- The samples were mounted on conventional 12.7 mm diameter aluminum stubs using double sided adhesive carbon discs. The all is clamped in a multi-stub holder.
- The samples were coated with a thin layer (20-30 nm) of conductive medium, such as gold, to increase conductivity and thus to minimise sample charge up.
Pierre Carabin, Eng., M. Eng., has reviewed and approved the technical contents of this press release.
Uragold Bay Resources is a TSX-V listed junior exploration company planning to become a vertically integrated and diversified High Value Specialty Materials Company. Uragold has announced plans to spin out its Beauce Gold Project – the largest placer gold deposit in eastern North America. Our Business model is focused on developing unique projects that can generate high yield returns and significant free cash flow within a short time line.
High Value Specialty Materials
In September 2015, PyroGenesis announced that it had filed for a provisional patent for the PUREVAP™ Quartz Vaporization Reactor (QVR) process, which it noted was able to produce silicon, at a lower cost, while generating less CO2 emissions than current processes.
On April 19, 2016, PyroGenesis announced that early test results of the PUREVAP™ QVR process have demonstrated that it can transform high purity quartz into silicon metal. The PUREVAP™ QVR validation program his now in its second stage whereby the operational parameters of the reactor are adjusted in order to achieve the transformation of Uragold Quartz into Solar Grade Purity Si.
Uragold, with its worldwide exclusive usage of PyroGenesis’ PUREVAP™ QVR, is endeavouring to become a vertically integrated Silicon Metal (98.5% Si), High Purity Silicon Metal (99.99% Si), Solar Grade Silicon Metal (6N Purity / 99.9999% Si) and/or Higher (9N Purity / 99.9999999% Si) producer.
The PUREVAP™ QVR process’s big advantage is its one step direct transformation of Quartz into High Purity Silicon Metal Solar Grade Silicon Metal and/or Higher Purity product, thereby potentially allowing Uragold to manufacture high value material for the same operating cost presently being paid by traditional producers to make Metallurgical Grade Si (98.5% Si) using the traditional arc furnace approach.
The Science Behind PyroGenesis PUREVAP™ QVR Process Is Solid:
- Plasma arc based process can and has transformed High Purity Quartz into Mg Si.
- Plasma arc based process can and is being used to purify Mg Si into higher value materials such as Sg Si.
- Finally, refining Mg Si using an electron-beam furnace in a high vacuum-processing environment has proven the concept of the elimination of elements whose vapor pressures are higher than that of silicon.
What is unique and ground breaking is the combination of these three proven processes into one step.
A Green And Clean Company
Uragold, with its worldwide exclusive usage of PyroGenesis’ PUREVAP™ QVR will also be implementing a process to make Sg Si, which is estimated to generate 14.1 kg CO2 eq/Kg SG Si, versus the 54.0 kg CO2 eq/Kg SG Si of emissions generated by the Siemens process (90% of the present production process). This represents 75% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, which is justified by elimination of the emissions emanating from the use of chemicals, as well as, energy consumption from the additional purification step.
High Purity Quartz Properties
Uragold is also the largest holder of High Purity Quartz properties in Quebec, with over 3,500 Ha under claims. Despite the abundance of quartz, very few deposits are suitable for high purity applications. High Purity Quartz supplies are tightening, prices are rising, and exponential growth is forecast. Quartz from the Roncevaux property successfully passed rigorous testing protocols of a major silicon metal producer confirming that our material is highly suited for their silicon metal production.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements containing the words “may”, “plan”, “will”, “estimate”, “continue”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “expect”, “in the process” and other similar expressions which constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s current expectation and assumptions, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, our expectations regarding the acceptance of our products by the market, our strategy to develop new products and enhance the capabilities of existing products, our strategy with respect to research and development, the impact of competitive products and pricing, new product development, and uncertainties related to the regulatory approval process. Such statements reflect the current views of the Company with respect to future events and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and other risks detailed from time-to-time in the Company’s on-going filings with the securities regulatory authorities, which filings can be found at www.sedar.com. Actual results, events, and performance may differ materially. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements either as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.
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