The following sections highlight the progress of the Companies technology development:
In May, 2011 the Company completed the 12 month, $15 million demonstration pilot at CanmetEnergy. Results for the overall program for the 3 oil sands operators were outstanding, achieving: bitumen recoveries of 75%, minerals concentrate cleaning to target specifications, solvent recoveries of 75%, thickened residual tailings and recoveries of recyclable water. The recovery of lost bitumen and solvents, preventing their discharge to tailings ponds, will reduce environmental impacts in a number of areas including: reduction of VOC's, CO2, NOX, reduced fresh water usage and a reduced footprint of tailings ponds.
The Company is now engaged in the next phase of commercialization including site specific preliminary engineering, project costing, financial modeling and fiscal program planning with the Alberta Government.
In 2010, the Company assembled a Consortium of 3 oil sands operators, engaged engineering partner SNC-Lavalin and designed and constructed a demonstration pilot at CanmetEnergy's research and pilot facilities in Devon, Alberta. The pilot was commissioned in June, 2010 and operated for 12 months processing froth treatment talings for the 3 oil sands operators. In September 2010, the Company announced highly successful pilot results for the first oil sands operator. Bitumen recoveries of 75% were at the top end of targeted range along with cleaned heavy minerals concentrates and solvent recoveries.
In December 2010, the Company raised $14.3 million through a private placement financing to support the commercialization of its technologies.
In 2009, the Company completed over 20 research projects in collaboration with 12 independent research firms and Government organizations. The R&D program successfully developed and tested a suite of new technologies at laboratory and bench scale meeting all objectives: recovered bitumen from froth treatment tailings, recovered and cleaned valuable heavy minerals concentrates, recovered hydrocarbon solvents.
Based on the success of the R&D program, the Canadian Government (Sustainable Development Technology Canada SDTC) awarded the Company a $5million Grant funding one third of the costs of demonstration piloting.
In March 2008, the Government of Alberta awarded Titanium Corporation an Energy Innovation Fund Grant of $3.5 million (the "Grant"). The funds from this Grant were matched by Titanium Corporation during an approximate 24 month, $7 million R&D program directed toward achieving environmental and economic benefits from the recovery of hydrocarbons and heavy minerals from oil sands tailings.
Under the terms of the Grant, Titanium Corporation benefited from an advisory committee, comprised of stakeholders from industry, government and leading research organizations. The bitumen removal and recovery R&D program was conducted under this Grant.
Results of the 2006 Pilot Program were analyzed during the first part of 2007. The on-site pilot concentrator was successful in achieving high recoveries between 98-99% of a heavy mineral concentrate. This concentrate was further processed and separated at the Company's Regina research facility. However, traces of bitumen remained on the heavy minerals. Analysis has shown the removal and recovery of bitumen is necessary to effectively recover the heavy minerals. Following a strategic business review late in the year, Titanium Corporation initiated a bitumen R&D project to remove bitumen from the heavy minerals and recover bitumen from the tailings stream.
Following the 2005 technical programs and subsequent analysis of material from the fresh tailings pipeline, the Company found higher concentrations of heavy minerals and associated hydrocarbons. As a result, a 2006 Pilot Program was announced as a necessary step to incorporate process flow sheet design changes. Titanium Corporation designed, constructed and piloted the world's first mineral concentrator to be operated at an oil sands site.
The first phase of the 2006 Pilot Program involved a modular mineral concentrator facility designed to recover a heavy mineral concentrate of titanium and zircon along with associated hydrocarbons. Pilot production testing is a critical step for any new process development. For Titanium Corporation, the pilot served three main purposes. First, it helped validate the Company's manufacturing flow sheet within the actual oil sands operating environment. Second, it produced heavy mineral concentrates for testing in mineral separation circuits under development in the Company's Regina facility. Third, the pilot facilitated future process development with both the existing oil sands producer and future producers once the Company is in a position to expand its operations to new mining projects.
In the first half of 2005, a portable bulk sampling plant (BSP) was designed and constructed in Australia. The BSP was shipped to Canada and commissioned in Fort McMurray at the oil sands site in August where it was connected to the fresh oil sands tailings pipeline. Fresh tailings were successfully processed and 350 tonnes of washed mineral sands were produced for further processing at Titanium Corporation's Regina facility. Titanium Corporation used the Regina facility to design, develop and test process flow sheets and equipment to optimize the recovery of heavy minerals and enhance product quality.
The Nova Scotia Project was written off and the Company is no longer actively pursing this project.
To support technical and engineering programs and continue with the next stage of the Oil Sands Project, Titanium Corporation raised $23.9 million in August 2005, through a private placement financing. A further $3.8 million was received in August 2005, from the exercise of warrants outstanding from a financing in 2004.
In late 2005, Titanium Corporation commenced an oil sands drill core analysis program to quantify the overall heavy minerals resource contained in the oil sands and to provide mineral production planning information.Highlights 2004