Novo Resources says initial laboratory-scale tests using Steinert mechanical ore sorting technology indicates an upgrade of gold into significantly reduced mass is achievable at the Beaton’s Creek project in Western Australia.
The mechanical sorting tests carried out in Australia on the Beaton’s Creek bulk sample showed that nuggety gold occurring in Beaton’s Creek conglomerates is finer grained (generally sub 1 mm) than gold at Novo’s Egina and Karratha projects (generally over 1 mm), the company said. The company is also considering using ore sorting at these two projects.
Test work was conducted on a 2.8 t split of crushed (-50 mm) and screened Beaton’s Creek bulk sample material, with analyses conducted as part of this sorting test work generating a calculated head grade of 5.72 g/t Au for the bulk sample. The vast majority of gold reported to mechanically sorted concentrates in each of the three size fractions tested, with 90.2% of gold recovered in 54.5% of the mass of the +18/-50 mm fraction; 68.8% of gold recovered in 42.4% of the mass of the +6/-18 mm fraction; and 95.5% of gold recovered in 20.3% of the mass of the +2.3/-6 mm fraction.
Material finer than 2.3 mm, comprising 17% of the total mass of the bulk sample, was not tested due to excessive dust issues, the company said. “Novo believes such material is treatable by means of gravity concentration,” it added.
“Test results are considered indicative, and Novo and Steinert see additional opportunity to optimise sorting conditions and parameters that may result in further efficiencies,” the company said. “Nevertheless, these tests indicate robust potential for upgrading nuggety conglomerate gold mineralisation, and perhaps, a broader spectrum of gold mineralisation types.”
A second 2.8 t split of the same bulk sample material has been delivered to TOMRA Sorting’s mechanical sorting test facility in Castle Hill, New South Wales, where it will soon undergo similar testing using various TOMRA mechanical sorters, the company said.
Rob Humphryson, CEO and Director of Novo Resources, said: “We are highly encouraged by these initial results. We are already fully confident about the outcome of Egina mechanical sorting test work, which demonstrated excellent recoveries into very small concentrates. Our Beaton’s Creek test work is more investigative in nature owing to the finer gold grain size, so to achieve such levels of upgrade in first phase testing is remarkable.”
He added: “Test work is being developed and supervised by Novo staff specialising in mining engineering, metallurgical processing, and importantly, our geology team. This means those people engaged in exploration are fully aware of the profound impact that mechanical sorting potentially imparts on the economic viability of our prospects. Mechanical sorting test work is likely to become an integral part of future exploration and economic modelling as we hopefully progress each of our projects towards production should the economic viability and technical feasibility of the project be established.”