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VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 30, 2013) - Pancontinental Uranium Corporation (News - Market indicators) ("Pancon" or the "Company") is pleased to report that today its Joint Venture partner, Crossland Uranium Mines Limited ("Crossland"), announced that the Scoping Study for a mining and processing operation at the Charley Creek Alluvial Rare Earth Project in Central Australia is proceeding well.
The study will produce capital and operating cost estimates for all of the major facets of the Charley Creek project including mining operations, wet and dry plant mineral concentration facilities, REO refinery, infrastructure, accommodation, water supply, and draft environmental scoping document (ESD).
Pancon President and CEO, Rick Mark, states: "The Scoping Study is an important early milestone in the Charley Creek Mine development process. The Project's alluvial mining techniques give us significant Capex advantage and we believe the preponderance of heavy REEs evident at Charley Creek can also give us a clear advantage over most REE projects."
The study assumes a staged development, commencing with the production of a high grade (40%+) TREO concentrate, followed by the construction of a refinery to remove uranium, thorium and major gangue elements to produce a high purity mixed rare earth carbonate product.
Progress on specific elements of the study is as follows:
- MSP Engineering was awarded the engineering scoping study in November 2012 and is on track to deliver their final study report at the end of February. This study will provide a capital and operating cost estimate for the production of a high grade monazite/xenotime concentrate and associated infrastructure. ALS Metallurgy (Ammtec) has completed sulphuric acid bake and caustic 'crack' test work on a high grade Monazite/Xenotime concentrate sample from the Charley Creek project. Initial results indicate both process routes are technically feasible. Further optimisation test work on the production of concentrate and the refinery will be undertaken in the first half of this year.
- Process design for the REO refinery has been awarded to a specialist consultant. A process design package is expected to provide to MSP Engineering to generate a +/-35% capital and operating estimate for the construction and commissioning of the REO refinery. The study flowsheet will consist of the following process steps:
Sulphuric acid pug roast --> Water leach --> Iron/Thorium precipitation --> Uranium IX --> RECO3 Mixed Carbonate precipitation --> RECO3 drying and packaging.
Capital and operating cost estimates for the REO refinery are expected to be available at the end of the first quarter of 2013.
- GHD is progressing towards the draft EIS for the Charley Creek project. GHD is also undertaking hydrogeological studies across the Charley Creek project area to source sufficient underground water for mining and processing plants.
These studies are designed to generate the necessary data to allow economic assessment of the Charley Creek project to be quantified. The Scoping Study and economic assessment of the project will be made available to shareholders on completion. Crossland expects that the Scoping Study and financial analysis will provide a compelling business case and that the project will then proceed quickly to further resource drilling of starter pit areas, and a Feasibility Study.
About Pancontinental Uranium Corporation
Pancontinental Uranium Corporation ("Pancon") is a Canadian-based company focused on uranium and REE discovery and development. Through a joint venture with Crossland Uranium Mines Limited ("Crossland") of Australia, this management and operating team has unparalleled experience from exploration, through development to operations, and includes people who were instrumental in the discovery of two of the largest uranium deposits in the world. Pancon and Crossland hold an impressive REE and uranium exploration portfolio with projects in prolific, mining friendly districts.
Exploration is ongoing or has occurred at three Australian projects which include Charley Creek, Chilling, and Kalabity. Charley Creek has the potential for large alluvial REE deposits, and large, lower-grade, Rossing-type, granite-hosted uranium deposits. The Chilling project has the potential to host a mirror image of a portion of the renowned Alligator Rivers Uranium Field containing the large Jabiluka, Ranger and Koongarra deposits The Kalabity project is in a district of historic uranium/radium mining that contains a variety of known uranium deposit styles.
Pancon has a 45% participating interest in this significant REE and uranium project portfolio. Pancon and Crossland are also pursuing exploration beyond Australia through an international subsidiary company, Crosscontinental Uranium Limited, and plans include formulating an exploration program in Burkina Faso.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Rick Mark, President & CEO
Cautionary Language and Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain "forward-looking statements", which are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Investors are cautioned that such statements are not guarantees of future performance and results. Risks and uncertainties about the Company's business are more fully discussed in the Company's disclosure documents filed from time to time with the Canadian securities authorities.