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2006 Nano Biz...in depth... im detail
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Significant Quantities of Halloysite Nanotubes Identified; Notable Opportunities Revealed in Paper, Paint, Plastic & Pharmaceutical Industries



VANCOUVER, BC--(MARKET WIRE)--Mar 21, 2006 -- i-minerals inc. (Vancouver: IMA.V - News ) has received results for its second phase of kaolin testing from Ginn Mineral Technology, Inc. ("GMT") in Sandersville, Georgia. As part of the second phase of testing in late 2005, i-minerals delivered to GMT one-ton samples of both residual and sedimentary clays from the Helmer-Bovill area in Latah County, Idaho. From these large samples of crude clays, GMT undertook a series of tests to optimize processing parameters that were developed in phase 1 and evaluate advanced/specialized brightness processing options. Part of the design of this testing program was to produce larger samples for i-minerals testing for specific kaolin markets and for prospective customers for their internal testing.

Results from the residual clays from the Moose Creek pits confirmed those received from phase 1. The clays continue to respond very well to standard processing techniques comparable to those used by established producers of residual kaolins such as those in Cornwall, England. After low-shear sand separation, screening, chemical dispersion, classification, magnetic separation, and reductive leaching, the 90% < 2 microns fraction exhibits an outstanding brightness of 91.2% on the Tappi scale. The advanced/specialized brightness processing options did not provide any additional separation benefits to the sample. The final product produced from the Moose Creek residual clays is a unique combination of kaolinite and halloysites clays, relatively pure in composition, with an outstanding brightness. These mineral/pigment properties offer significant value to the paper, paint, plastic, and potentially pharmaceutical industries.

The residual clay products could be building blocks for nano-composites. Both the initial and the current analytical work included SEM photomicrographs showing that the residual clays contain a significant portion of well-formed halloysite nanotubes. Extensive research is being undertaken by a number of universities and nanotech companies who are researching application of halloysite nanotubes in plastics and polymers and other composite systems research. SEM photomicrographs of the kaolin and halloysite nanotubes can be viewed on the company's website at: http://www.imineralsinc.com/index.cfm/content/PropertyInformation.html

Tests on the sedimentary clays again showed that these clays did not respond as well to the standard techniques discussed above or the advanced/specialized process options. GMT furthered their research into the thermal processing of the sedimentary clay by developing a thermal processing profile from metakaolin to fully calcined products. Tappi brightnesses range from the metakaolin product at 70.3% to a fully calcined product at 86.3%. The advantage found in the sedimentary clays is the high concentration of kaolin, approx. 96%. This should allow for the clay to be processed in the dry state using air flotation before calcining, which would save significantly on capital and processing costs. Beside the historical use of these clays in refractories, value should be found in the concrete and building industries, such as pozzolons.

The company has filed a 43-101 report related to the measured and indicated resource calculation for the Kelly's Basin feldspar-quartz deposit. The 43-101 report completed by James L. Browne, PG details the resource calculation as well as providing preliminary discussion related to the areas of the property that host kaolinitic clays. The report can be viewed on SEDAR at http://www.sedar.com/DisplayProfile.do?lang=EN&issuerType=03&issuerNo=00005700 or on the Company's website at http://www.imineralsinc.com/index.cfm/content/PropertyInformation.html . Feldspar and quartz work is continuing however anticipated metallurgical results have been delayed due to accelerated activity within the industry and the corresponding impacts on the laboratory and service providers to the mining industry.

"This second phase of characterization work undertaken by Ginn Mineral Research clearly demonstrates there is significant economic potential to the clay component of our business plan, providing a great complement to our Kelly's Basin feldspar/quartz deposit, which was the subject of a recently announced measured and indicated resource calculation," stated Roger Kauffman, President and CEO of i-minerals inc. "We are very encouraged as the results from all the work we have completed to date has exceeded our initial expectations and show strong potential for simultaneously exploiting two or three different deposits within the bounds of the Helmer-Bovill property."

i-minerals inc. has also elected to extend the investor relations contact with Encompass Communications Inc. ("Encompass"). Pursuant to the agreement Encompass will receive a further 50,000 stock options with an exercise price of $0.53 and having a term of two years. The options shall vest in four equal tranches over a one-year period in accordance with the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange. As an amendment to the initial agreement, i-minerals has agreed, subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange, to pay Encompass increased monthly fees of $8,000.

In an unrelated matter, pursuant to the Company's option plan the Company has granted directors, officers, consultants and employees a total of 360,000 stock options with an exercise price of $0.53 per share to directors and officers of the Company. Each option has a term of 5 years and shall vest in three equal installments at 6, 12 and 18 months.

A. Lamar Long, CPG, is the Qualified Person ("QP") for the Helmer-Bovill project under NI 43-101. He oversees the quality control and quality assurance program and the construction of all samples for metallurgical analysis and reviews all analytical results prior to public release.

i-minerals inc.

per: "Roger Kauffman" Roger Kauffman, President & CEO

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release

This News Release includes certain "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization and resources, exploration results, and future plans and objectives of the Company are forward looking statements that involve various risks. Actual results could differ materially from those projected as a result of the following factors, among others: changes in the world wide price of mineral market conditions, risks inherent in mineral exploration, risk associated with development, construction and mining operations, the uncertainty of future profitability and uncertainty of access to additional capital.

Distributed by Filing Services Canada and retransmitted by Market Wire

 


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