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IBC completes first phase drill program at Juab County beryllium properties

IBC completes first phase drill program at Juab County beryllium properties

IBC Advanced Alloys (CVE:IB) (OTCQX: IAALF) said Thursday it has completed the first phase of the drilling program at its Juab County fluorite-bertrandite project located in western Utah.

The rare metals and beryllium-based alloys maker's Utah properties include 371 claims, totalling approximately 3,102 hectares and are located immediately next to the large Spor Mountain beryllium mine owned by Materion Corp.
 
President and CEO of IBC, Anthony Dutton, said: "Our drilling and sampling program has now been completed on time and on budget and will give us additional information towards the preparation of a compliant National Instrument 43-101 report."

"In addition, we will gain a deeper and technically sound understanding of the geology, host mineralization and main structures as we prepare for additional drilling and ultimately a resource estimate."

The drill program consisted of 35 holes totalling 5,500 metres of reverse circulation drilling to test target zones in the volcanic tuff and in the underlying Bell Hill Dolomite unit, in the claim area just south of Starvation Canyon Wash, the company said. 

The work was completed ahead of schedule, IBC said, and tested several target zones identified in previous field work and a 2010 geophysical survey of the area.

The campaign also saw the collection of 5,250 rock chip samples at 1-metre vertical intervals. The 252 short tons of sampled rock is being dried and split into 250-gram portions, to be shipped to the ALS Minerals lab in Elko, Nevada, where it will be oven-dried and then pulverized.

The "pulps" will then be shipped to Vancouver, BC, to test for beryllium, uranium, thorium, and rare earths elements content, in addition to several other elements.

All results will be used to begin quantifying the beryllium resource within the claim block. The company said it expects to receive lab results from the first phase of the drill program in early 2012.

Reclamation of the roads and drill pads has already begun, and reseeding of the entire disturbed area is scheduled for completion this month.

IBC's VP of exploration, Lee Rice, added: "IBC is hopeful that the results from this drill program will help quantify the potential beryllium mineralization and to provide a strategic resource underpinning continued downstream manufacturing growth, as well as to support our R&D efforts such as our nuclear fuels initiative.

"IBC's vertically integrated business model is constantly evaluating new opportunities, such as nuclear fuels, which have the potential to drive significant future beryllium consumption."

IBC makes and distributes rare metal alloys that are used in a variety of industries, including nuclear energy, automotive, telecommunications, and a range of industrial application. It has 80 employees, with production facilities in Indiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Missouri.

Operationally, IBC has made significant progress during the year, including the construction of a new factory in Massachusetts, and the closing of an $8.2 million financing to fund its mineral exploration program in Utah, as well as other new business development initiatives.

In May, IBC opened a new 63,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Wilmington, MA to support the growth of the company's Engineered Materials division and its ultra-lightweight cast alloys.

A month later, the company also inked a memorandum of understanding with its Kazakh suppliers, Ulba Metallurgical Plant, to further advance its relationship and to continue to target emerging opportunities in the global beryllium and rare metals market.
 
Earlier in the year, the alloys manufacturer also renewed its collaborative research agreement with Purdue and Texas Engineering Experiment Station, a member institution of the Texas A&M University, with regards to their commitment to develop a beryllium-enhanced nucleur fuel.

IBC said in October that it signed a preliminary agreement with Ceramic Tubular Products to jointly develop their respective nuclear fuel technologies. The two technologies, which will be advanced to address operational and performance issues with light water reactor fuel systems, are complementary, the companies said, and have the ability to deliver "significant" fuel performance improvements and safety benefits.

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