Conference call scheduled for 10:00am EST on Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Toronto, Ontario...December 10, 2007...Titanium Corporation Inc. [TSX.V:TIC] (the "Company") is pleased to provide an update on the progress of its oil sands tailings project following the filing of its quarterly and annual financial statements for the year ended August 31, 2007.
The past year culminated more than two years of process design, testing and on-site piloting. The results include a new expanded opportunity to integrate bitumen and heavy mineral recovery from mined oil sands tailings as well as some new challenges. Processing fresh tailings has proven complex and is taking more time than originally anticipated. After an extensive review of these results, the Company reports as follows:
The Company's operations during fiscal 2007 focused on mineral concentration, bitumen removal and recovery and mineral separation as discussed below.
Mineral Concentration: Utilizing bulk sample material from the prior year's on-site program, the Company designed a pilot mineral concentrator which was deployed at the oil sands site in the first quarter of fiscal 2007. The pilot concentrator achieved heavy mineral recoveries, as a concentrate, of between 98 and 99 per cent from the tailings stream. The $3 million program was completed on time and within budget.
Bitumen Removal and Recovery: Froth treatment tailings from mined oil sands extraction processes generally contain bitumen losses in the range of 3 % of the total bitumen mined. Bitumen adheres to the mineral sands and is also present in the finer sand fraction throughout the tailings stream. The pilot concentrator was designed to remove bitumen from the heavy minerals and a separation vessel was utilized to collect the bitumen and solvent mixture. It has been determined that the removal of a fine coating of bitumen is necessary for effective minerals processing. Work is underway aimed at improving the removal of bitumen during the concentration stage, reducing solvent usage, recovering solvent, and separating and recovering bitumen from the tailings stream. The Company has engaged industry experts including the Alberta based research unit of CANMET Energy Technology Centre "CANMET" to assist with the necessary research and development work.
Mineral Separation: Heavy mineral concentrates from the on-site program were transported to the Company's Regina facilities for analysis and zircon separation testing during fiscal 2007. Technical analysis and market testing during 2007 indicate that the oil sands mineral suite is comprised of two grades of zircon: standard grade zircon which is typically supplied to the ceramics industry; and a lower grade of zircon utilized by the zircon chemicals industry. Zircon testing to-date indicates a potential for recoveries of approximately 55,000 tonnes per year of the two grades of zircon at current oil sands production levels at the test site. Work is ongoing to increase recovery levels and grades. Potential markets for high grade leucoxene is also being investigated. This high grade product represents a potential of approximately 20,000 tonnes per year at current oil sands production levels at the test site.
Markets: In the prior year, the Company had announced a strategy to focus on zircon recovery due to strong worldwide demand and pricing. The zircon market remains strong, growing and has attractive pricing. Zircon sand prices doubled in value over 2 to 3 years reaching approximately US$800 per tonne where they remained stable during 2007. We expect that worldwide demand will continue to be robust, particularly in China, and that the supply situation will continue to be tight. In contrast, markets for titanium minerals are not prospective. Prices for varying grades of titanium minerals are well below US$100 per tonne. The significant decline in value of the US dollar in local currencies has also negatively impacted the minerals industry. Titanium mineral markets have been oversupplied. As well, a number of expansions and new projects are coming on stream and are under development. Accordingly, we continue to focus on zircon and high grade leucoxene. The Company has been active in Asia working with relationship partners and potential industrial consumers, market testing zircon and leucoxene product samples.
Outlook for Fiscal 2008: The Company's oil sands tailings project has progressed to an integrated project to develop technology to recover both bitumen and minerals directly from fresh oil sands tailings. The recovery of a portion of the bitumen currently lost in these tailings streams represents an expanded opportunity with the potential for environmental and economic benefits. In management's view, the potential market for tailings processing is significant with three major oil sands mining sites currently in operation, one to be commissioned in 2008, and several others planned for the ensuing years.
Over the next 18 to 24 months, the Company plans to execute programs directed at developing integrated processes for bitumen and mineral recovery. These programs will be conducted in stages and it is anticipated that the work will initially focus on laboratory and bench scale activity, later advancing to pilot operations. Additional work on minerals will also occur, with a view to improving the quality of lower grade zircon and evaluating upgrading processes and potential for downstream value added processing.
The Company plans to assess and pursue all available options to resolve the technical areas outlined above. The Company is in the process of: partnering with expert research organizations; adding oil specialists to the organization; working with Government to gain support in areas of research and potential funding; and executing a staged research program with milestones. The Company is also investigating new business opportunities that would leverage its expertise and assets, expand activities and diversify risk.
Titanium Corporation continues to maintain a strong balance sheet with a cash position of $20 million at the end of the quarter, no debt and expenses controlled to budget.
Titanium Corporation's financial statements and MD& A for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2007 are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on Titanium Corporation's website at www.titaniumcorporation.com .
Titanium Corporation Inc. will host an update conference call at 10:00 am Toronto/NewYork time (EST) on December 11, 2007. The North American toll-free conference call dial-in number is 1-866-585-6398 and the international dial-in is 416-849-9626. A live audio webcast of the conference call will be available to all interested parties through Titanium Corporation's website www.titaniumcorporation.com or through investorcalendar.com. A replay of the conference call will be available until December 25, 2007; toll free dial-in at 1-866-245-6755 and local/international dial-in at 416-915-1035, passcode number 251915.
About Titanium Corporation
Titanium Corporation Inc. is a Canadian company developing a commercial process to maximize the inherent value existing in the waste material currently being deposited in oil sands tailings in the Fort McMurray, Athabasca oil sands region. Through extensive research, including the construction and operation of pilot processing facilities, the Company is developing technology to integrate the recovery of heavy minerals and bitumen from mined oil sands tailings. Titanium Corporation's technology could be applied to existing and planned mined oil sands projects with the objective of creating a new sustainable industry for Canada. Titanium Corporation Inc. shares trade on the Toronto Venture Exchange (TSX.V) under the symbol TIC. For more information, please visit our website www.titaniumcorporation.com.
Disclosure regarding forward-looking information
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on the company's current expectations and estimates. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "predict", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", and other similar words or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur, and include, without limitation, statements regarding the recovery of heavy minerals and the Company's ability to extract heavy minerals from tailings in the future. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from estimated or anticipated events or results implied or expressed in such forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein.
We also direct you to our risks and uncertainties statements more particularly described and updated in Titanium Corporation's Quarterly Management's Discussion and Analysis filed for the year ended August 31, 2007, on SEDAR (www.sedar.com). Most notably these risks and assumptions include, but are not limited to: changes in the markets and the worldwide price of zircon and titanium; risks associated with future plans and objectives; operating or technical difficulties in connection with development activities; and development time lines and priorities. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking information are based on estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. The Corporation assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change.
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy and accuracy of this release.
For further information:
Scott Nelson, President & CEO
Titanium Corporation Inc.
Carolyn Muir, Investor Relations
Titanium Corporation Inc.
416-955-0715 X 224
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