Re: News Release - Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Firestone Ventures Completes Additional Positive Metallurgical
Testwork on the Torlon Hill Zinc Deposit
December 10, 2008 - Firestone Ventures Inc. (FV:TSX-V; F5V:FSE) is
pleased to announce positive results from a second round of
metallurgical testing conducted on its road-accessible Torlon Hill
zinc-lead deposit. The first round of testing was completed by SGS
Lakefield and focused on mineralogical studies and "base-case" dense
media separation and flotation work (see news release September 17,
Firestone commissioned Electrometals Canada Inc. to conduct a low-cost
preliminary test to assess the amenability of zinc at Torlon Hill to
acid/alkaline leaching with the production of zinc metal through
electrowinning. Electrometals Canada engaged Process Research
Associates Ltd. (PRA) to carry out the testwork. Electrometals Canada
Inc. is a subsidiary of Australia-based Electrometals Technologies.
Electrometals Canada is engaged in the design, testing and
manufacturing of EMEW electrowinning equipment. PRA is a Canadian
company offering a full range of laboratory and pilot plant research.
"This was the second in a series of preliminary testwork programs
designed to look for methods to optimize zinc recoveries. We are very
pleased with this initial characterization test which shows that the
zinc ore from Torlon Hill is readily soluble under both acidic and
alkaline conditions. This shows us further work is warranted and that
the potential exists to produce a concentrated zinc solution that may
be suitable for direct electrowinning and production of zinc metal."
says Lori Walton, President of Firestone Ventures. "The relatively
simple mineralogy of the Torlon ore may be a factor in the positive
A composite metallurgical test sample from Torlon Hill ore returning an
average grade of 12.9% zinc and 3.5% lead was used for the
Electrometals/PRA metallurgical testwork. This test was done directly
on ore material and not on a pre-concentrated product. Results from
alkaline leach scoping tests using a caustic (NaOH) leach solution were
encouraging. Key highlights from this work include:
.. Overall leach recoveries approaching 80% for zinc and 60% for lead.
Additional testwork was recommended to examine a two-stage leach with
interstage grinding in order to potentially increase leach recoveries.
.. The production of a high concentration solution that is suitable for
direct electrowinning of zinc.
.. Very little dissolution of aluminum, silica or any other deleterious
Solutions from the alkaline leach testwork were then processed via zinc
cementation to remove metals such as lead, cadmium and copper and
subjected to direct electrowinning. A final zinc metal cathode
"sponge" product was produced which contained 99.5% zinc.
In addition to the alkaline leaching, the Torlon composite
metallurgical sample was also subjected to acid leaching conditions.
Following a dense media separation ("DMS") stage to eliminate +80% of
the acid-consuming calcium phase in the mineral a baseline sulfuric
acid leach was performed at a pH of 2. Promising results were achieved
with 95% of the contained zinc being solubilized with very little
extraction of iron or other gangue materials. Overall acid consumption
was reasonable at approximately 100 kg/t in excess of what would
theoretically be recovered during subsequent zinc electrowinning.
Torlon Hill Mineralogy and Geology
Smithsonite (ZnCO3) is the prevalent zinc mineral at Torlon Hill,
occurring as a replacement to limestone, and resulting in high grade
mineralization locally exceeding 40% zinc. Other non-sulphide zinc
minerals are relatively rare, but minor amounts of a hydrous
zinc-carbonate (hydrozincite) and hydrated zinc-silicate (hemimorphite)
are seen locally in the weathering zone. The lead-carbonate mineral
cerussite is important locally. There is no evidence of deleterious
zinc-clay minerals. Traces of sphalerite have been found in a sulphide
(mostly galena-pyrite) zone at the base of the deposit. Silver-rich
galena veinlets cross-cut the pervasive zinc-replacement
Torlon Hill is an intensely oxidized zinc-lead (plus silver)
mineralized body hosted in Permian dolostone breccia and limestone.
The carbonate unit has been tectonically thrust over a serpentinized
basement sequence at the boundary between the North American Tectonic
Plate and the Caribbean Plate. The "tectonic crush zone" is
pervasively mineralized with thick zones returning in excess of 10% and
locally up to 40% zinc. The area surrounding Torlon Hill has high
potential for hosting additional structurally controlled non-sulphide
zinc deposits in addition to conventional Mississippi Valley-Type
This news release has been reviewed and approved by J. Cleary, CPG,
Qualified Person, Al Workman, P.Geo., Vice President of Watts, Griffis
and McOuat Limited and D. Koningen, P.Eng. The road-accessible Torlon
Hill project is located 18 kilometres northwest of the city of
Huehuetenango, which is situated on the Pan-American Highway in western
Guatemala. Firestone owns a 100% interest in the Torlon Hill Project.
Firestone Ventures Inc. is a Canadian-based resource exploration and
development company. The common shares of the Company are currently
listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (symbol FV) and the Frankfurt Stock
Exchange (symbol F5V). For further information please contact:
Lori Walton, P. Geol., President
Toll Free: 1-888-221-5588
Fax: (780) 428-3476
Trading Symbol: FV:TSX-V;F5V: FSE
For Investor Relations please call: Contact Financial Inc. at (604)
This news release may contain forward looking statements, being
statements which are not historical facts, including, without
limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization, exploration
results, resource or reserve estimates, anticipated production or
results, sales, revenues, costs, "best-efforts" financings or
discussions of future plans and objectives. There can be no assurance
that such statements will prove accurate. Such statements are
necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that are
subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual
results and future events to differ materially from those anticipated
or projected. Important factors that could cause actual results to
differ materially from the Company's expectations are in Company
documents filed from time to time with the TSX Venture Exchange and
provincial securities regulators, most of which are available at
www.sedar.com. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to
revise or update such statements. The TSX Venture Exchange has not
reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or
accuracy of this release.
Copyright (c) 2008 FIRESTONE VENTURES INC. (FV) All rights reserved.
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