Regina, Sask., May 26, 2004 - Titanium Corporation Inc. [TSXV:TIC] today announced the opening of the world's first pilot plant facility to recover titanium and zircon from oil sands at the Regina Research Park in Saskatchewan. Titanium Corporation is the only company in the world with a
patent-pending process to recover titanium and zircon from oil sands. The facility was dedicated to Frank Spragins, the first Syncrude Canada President, who had the original vision of recovering titanium and zircon from the Fort McMurray, Alberta oil sands.
"I am pleased to congratulate a great Canadian visionary," says The Honourable Eric Cline, Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Research Council and the Saskatchewan Opportunities Corporation, developers of the Regina Research Park. "It is this kind of vision that we see in Titanium Corporation's choice to utilize the talent and the technology found in Saskatchewan and in making the Saskatchewan Research Council the location of its facility."
The mineral processing facility will demonstrate Titanium Corporation's proprietary technology to recover high-grade titanium-bearing minerals and zircon concentrates from the oil sand tailings of Syncrude Canada, the world's largest producer of crude oil from oil sands.
Titanium Corporation signed a two-year exclusivity agreement with Syncrude Canada and a major titanium pigment producer in June 2003. As part of the agreement, Syncrude Canada will supply its oil sand tailings to Titanium orporation for testing and the pigment producer, who has the facilities for evaluating the concentrates produced by Titanium Corporation, has the capability of purchasing all of the end-product if suitable for its requirements.
"We are very optimistic about the potential of this pilot plant," says Tony Mankowski, Manager of Business Development at Syncrude Canada Ltd. "As we heard today at the grand opening, it was Frank Spragins, Syncrude's first President, who initially saw the potential of the oil sands and we are supportive of Titanium Corporation's endeavour to make his vision a reality."
"The value of Titanium Corporation's pilot plant is to confirm the commercial viability of Titanium Corporation's proprietary technology and to provide a realistic determination for the costs of production," says Titanium Corporation Chairman and CEO, George Elliott. "The pilot plant has the capacity to support the production of titanium and zircon concentrates in tonnages suitable for industry evaluation."
The titanium and zircon industries account for US$12 billion per year. Based on the 2002 total global demand for titanium-bearing minerals and zircon, the Syncrude Canada tailings stream could contribute approximately 8 per cent and 5 per cent of those markets respectively. With the growing need for new titanium supplies and an already tight zircon market, the extraction of minerals from Syncrude Canada's tailings stream could become the premier North American mineral sand project.
"We are extremely proud to be technological leaders in the titanium and zircon industries with a world-first recovery process," says Elliott. "The pilot plant's efficiency rating will provide the basis to obtain long-term supply contracts with pigment producers, while eliminating the cost and time that would have been required for a complete feasibility study."
"We are also proud of the excellent work that the pilot plant management team has achieved in such a short time," continues Elliott. "John Oxenford, Senior Vice President, is a veteran of the oil sands and mineral sands extraction industries; Niel Erasmus, Vice President, Production Technology, has extensive experience in the design and operation of pilot plant technologies; and, Salustio Guzman, Manager of Process Upgrading Technologies, has 20 years experience in process research and development. As a team, they are breaking new ground in an emerging Canadian industry."
The C$5 million pilot plant is comprised of a new 4,250 square foot facility, built by Titanium Corporation to house its wet mill separation plant, together with an adjoining 2,800 square feet dry mill separation plant that is leased from the Saskatchewan Research Council.
The pilot plant can process up to 5 tonnes per hour of titanium and zircon bearing sand from Syncrude's centrifuge plant tailings stream to yield marketable titanium-bearing mineral and zircon products (as described in press release of October 24, 2003). This new pilot plant is the culmination of more than three years of dedicated research and development work by Titanium Corporation's world-class metallurgical team and will serve as the basis for the design of a commercial-scale mineral sand operation utilizing Titanium Corporation's patent-pending technology.
The Regina Research Park, immediately adjacent to the University of Regina, commenced operations in 2000, and has 25 tenant companies employing more than 800 people who contribute just under C$195 million annually to the economy of Regina and Saskatchewan.
About Syncrude Canada Ltd.
The Syncrude Project is a joint venture operated by Syncrude Canada Ltd. and owned by, Canadian Oil Sands Limited Partnership, Canadian Oil Sands Limited, Conoco Phillips Oilsands Partnership II, Imperial Oil Resources, Mocal Energy Limited, Murphy Oil Company Limited, Nexen Inc. and Petro-Canada Oil and Gas.
Trading Symbols for Public Syncrude Joint Venture Owners:
|Canadian Oil Sands Limited Partnership||COS.UN -TSE|
|Canadian Oil Sands Limited|
|Conoco Philliops Oilsands Partnership II||COP/NYSE|
|Imperial Oil Resources||IMO-TSX|
|Mocal Energy Limited|
|Murphy Oil Company Limited||MUR-NYSE|
|Petro-Canada Oil and Gas||PCA-TSX/PCZ-NYSE|
About Titanium Corporation
Titanium Corporation Inc. is a Toronto-based mineral exploration and development company whose shares are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "TIC", U.S. clearing symbol "TITUF", CUSIP Number: 88833T104. The Corporation's mission is to become the first titanium and zircon sand producer in Canada. On June 4, 2003, the Company entered into a three-way two-year exclusivity agreement among itself, Syncrude Canada Ltd. and a major titanium dioxide pigment producer, to jointly explore and develop the potential for recovering titanium-bearing minerals and zircon from Syncrude's centrifuge plant tailing stream. The Company also controls a well advanced 102 square kilometre mineral sand deposit located on the Shubenacadie River, Nova Scotia, Canada. For more information, please visit www.titaniumcorporation.com.
Disclosure regarding forward-looking statements
Note: This press release contains projections and forward-looking statements regarding future events. Such forwardlooking statements are not guarantees of future performance of the Corporation and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and the Corporation's plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy and accuracy of this release.
For further information:
George Elliott, Chairman
(416) 955-0715 X 222
John Oxenford, Senior VP
Karen Potter, Corporate Relations Specialist
Saskatchewan Research Council
Ken Loeppky, General Manager
Regina Research Park
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