QUÉBEC, CANADA–(Marketwired – March 9, 2016) – SOCIÉTÉ D’EXPLORATION MINIÈRE VIOR INC. (“Vior”), (TSX VENTURE:VIO)(FRANKFURT:VL5) – is pleased to announce that it has entered into an option and joint venture agreement with Iluka Exploration (Canada) Ltd. (“Iluka”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU), the largest producer of the high-grade titanium dioxide products of rutile and synthetic rutile. Iluka has been granted an option to earn an undivided interest in the 481 mining claims comprising the Foothills Rutile Property (“Foothills”), 100%-owned by Vior, which covers 27,891 hectares situated near the village of St-Urbain, a historic iron-titanium mining camp about 100 kilometers east of Quebec City, province of Quebec.
Under the agreement, Iluka may earn an initial 51% interest (First Option) in the Foothills property by incurring exploration expenditures totalling $400,000 during the first year. Vior will be the operator during that period.
After earning an initial 51% interest, Iluka may elect to increase its interest to 90% (Second Option) over another two-year period by incurring an additional $2,100,000 in exploration expenditures. Iluka will be the project operator during the second option period and has the right to appoint Vior to carry out joint venture exploration work.
Upon completion of the second option, Vior and Iluka will bear all costs according to their participating interest in the Foothills project. Any joint venture party’s interest reduced to 5% or less will be either sold to the other party at a price agreed or converted to a 2% net smelter return on precious and base metals and a 2% gross revenue royalty on mineral substances other than precious and base metals.
“We are extremely pleased to have this agreement in place for the Foothills Rutile Property which will be explored in partnership with a major rutile producer such as Iluka. Our association with a company of the stature of Iluka paves the way for a promising partnership for Vior and its shareholders. Iluka has a significant experience in rutile and titaniferous mineral sands exploration; considerable technical and metallurgical expertise; and a global marketing network with extensive points of presence. These factors are the essential components to the successful development of any discovery”, stated Claude St-Jacques, President and CEO.
The Foothills project is covered by the St-Urbain Anorthositic Complex where two kilometric trains of rutile-rich ilmenite blocks and fragments were delimited by Vior (in surficial glacial sediments during field programs of 2014 and 2015. Ilmenite blocks which contain visually significant amounts of rutile minerals have returned from assays titanium dioxide (TiO2) contents ranging from 42.1% to 57.6%, with an average of 52.5%. Glacial patterns in the area suggest a proximal source of these blocks being located a few kilometers away within the St-Urbain Anorthositic Complex and at its contact zone with the surrounding gneissic rocks.
Two extensive titanium showings were discovered by field prospecting in areas bordering magnetic anomalies generated from the helicopter-borne high-resolution magnetic survey completed during winter 2015. The Boudreau showing, located in the south-central part of the Foothills property, consists of 100% coarse-grained massive ilmenite exposed in two outcropping areas spaced 25 metres apart, over a width of 7 to 8 metres on one of the outcrops. Several ilmenite boulders enriched in rutile were discovered near the Boudreau showing, which remains open in all directions. The Blueberry Lake showing is located in the east-central part of the property and encompasses three outcropping areas where coarse-grained massive ilmenite is exposed over a distance of more than 140 metres. Ground gravity test lines carried out over the Blueberry Lake showing showed a distinct signature between the massive ilmenite mineralization and the anorthositic host rock.
The Foothills property offers an excellent potential for discovering titanium-rich rutile mineralization since field programs performed by the Company confirmed and constrained the proximity of one or more rutile-rich titaniferous sources in the vicinity of the Boudreau showing on Foothills. The Company and its new partner Iluka will join their effort to expand upon the promising exploration work on Foothills property. It is planned to conduct helicopter-borne and ground geophysical work this winter on the Property in preparation for a follow-up field program in summer 2016.
In the industry, most of rutile and ilmenite is processed into non-toxic white titanium dioxide pigment for use in the manufacture of paints, plastics, paper, textiles, cosmetics and ceramics. Rutile is also used to produce titanium metal for use in aircraft, spacecraft, surgical implants, motor vehicles and desalination plants (source: Geoscience Australia website).
This press release was prepared by Mr. Marc L’Heureux, P.Geo. who is the Company’s Qualified Person.
Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) is involved in mineral sands exploration, project development, operations, marketing and rehabilitation. The company has operations in Australia (Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia) and in Virginia, USA (recently idled). Iluka is the major producer of zircon globally and largest producer of the high-grade titanium dioxide products of rutile and synthetic rutile. Iluka conducts international exploration activities for mineral sands, and has a targeted non mineral sands exploration effort in Australia. The company has an iron ore royalty associated with BHP Billiton’s Pilbara iron ore operations (Mining Area C Royalty).
Vior’s strategy is to generate, explore and develop quality projects in the best proven and accessible mining areas. Vior owns approximately 29.8% of the share capital of Aurvista Gold Corp. (TSX VENTURE:AVA), the owner of the Douay gold project, which contains a NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource of 114,652,000 tonnes at 0.75 g/t gold (2.8 million ounces of gold) and 2,689,000 tonnes at 2.76 g/t gold (238,433 ounces of gold) in the Measured and Indicated categories, at a cut-off of 0.3 g/t gold (Aurvista press release of October 16, 2014).
SEDAR: Société d’exploration minière Vior inc.
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