Bacanora Minerals is working towards boric acid production as
it looks to design a 25,000 tpa boric acid plant at its
Magdalena borate project in Mexico.
The company, which is listed on
Londons AIM, has retained the services of Process
Engineering LLC to design the plant.
The plant will use feedstock from
the companys El Cajon deposit.
Bacanora said it needs to complete
infill diamond drilling sampling and metallurgical testing on
part of its deposit; complete the full scale boric acid plant
design and costing as well as a revised mine plan; and finally
it needs to initiate environmental baseline studies and
complete mine permitting.
Martin Vidal, Bacanoras
president, said he believed the prefeasibility report on the
plant was expected to be completed by Q1 15.
The company has two main assets:
the Magdalena borate project in Sonora State, which holds an NI
43-101 compliant indicated resource of 1.17m tonnes borates at
an 8% cut off grade; and the Sonora lithium project with an NI
43-101 compliant indicated resource of 2.68m tonnes lithium
carbonate equivalent (LCE) at a 2,000 ppm cut-off grade.
The companys pilot plant is
four stories high and has been entirely built by the Bacanora
team, which, chairman Colin Orr-Ewing proudly states, is mostly
We think Mexico is a good
place to work really. Mexico is wonderful because they make
things there still - labour is cheap and we have an effective
and wonderful team, he told IM in July,
when the company listed on AIM.
Orr-Ewing, a charismatic and
experienced miner, said that he got involved in the industrial
minerals market because he was after some stability.
Why did I get involved in
this? I have been in diamonds and gold really until a short
while ago and I wanted something steady, he answered.
The company built its own testing
and processing facility in Mexico which can remove the clay and
impurities from its calcium borates to produce boric acid.
The plant also processes the
companys hectorite clay to produce 1.6% LCE.
The processing side is interesting
because Bacanora designed its own processing plant. This was in
order to keep costs low, but also, as Orr-Ewing pointed out,
because no one had a borax testing facility outside of the
Having been brought up
knowing that US Borax had a $200m bottom line - I thought borax
was a good thing to be in, he told
Then I found out you
cant find a lab to carry out testing for borax (...) I
couldnt believe that people were buying borax without
testing the consistency - they were taking it on
The company is developing its lithium business with Rare
Earth Minerals, which owns a 30% share of Bacanora subsidiary
Mexilit S.A de C.V and a 10% share of Megalit S.A de
Borates News Review
Erin Ventures - a Toronto,
Canada-headquartered junior miner developing borate assets in
Serbia - said in October that it intends to complete a private
placement on the Toronto Venture Exchange (TSX-V).
The placement will entail an
offering of 10m units at a price of Canadian dollar (C$)
0.06/unit ($0.053/unit*). Each unit equals a share in the
company, as well as a half share, or purchase warrant. Each
full warrant will have a three year term with an exercise price
Erin Ventures is developing the
Piskanja boron deposit in Serbia, which holds an NI 43-101
maiden indicated mineral resource totalling 5.6m tonnes with an
average B2O3 content of 30.8%, and an
additional Inferred mineral resource of 6.2m tonnes with an
average B2O3 content of 28.8%.
Rio Tinto produced 127,000
tonnes borates in Q3 2014, flat to the same level the previous
year, and 385,000 tonnes Ñ 5% higher than in 2013 -
in the first nine months of this year, it revealed in its
quarterly results, released in October.
Year-on-year (y-o-y) the
company is producing more borates in response to higher sales
demand and the commissioning of the companys modified
direct dissolving of kernite (MDDK) process plant, which
continued during the third quarter.
Rio Tinto continues
on with the development of
its Jadar project in Serbia, although it did not provide an
update on the project in its production report and it is still
classed as an evaluation project.
Also in Serbia is Pan
Global Resources, although according to the companys
latest financial statements on SEDAR, released in October, it
did not spend any money on drilling or geophysical surveys in
the Balkans in the six months to 31 July 2014.
Field costs amounted to
$15,091 - down from $69,527 over the same period the previous
EU looks into borates in
Union (EU) restrictions on the use of boron compounds in
products such as cosmetics
and hair care brands are now under discussion.
The European Commission
(EC) is consulting EU member states,
following a detailed
assessment on the potential risks of boron compounds in
personal care products by the European Commissions
Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS).
The opinion, released
earlier this year, concluded that borates, tetraborates and
octaborates, as well as other boric acid salts/esters such as
MEA-borate, MIPA-borate, potassium borate, trioctyldodecyl
borate and zinc borate, break into boric acid when in contact
These talks are separate
from consultations launched in September on whether four boron
substances Ñ boric acid; disodium tetraborate,
anhydrous; diboron trioxide; tetraboron disodium heptaoxide,
hydrate - should be added to the EUs special REACH