Tag Archives: Apollo Hill

Saturn Metals makes ore sorting ‘breakthrough’ at Apollo Hill gold project

Saturn Metals is heralding the first pass results of a laser ore sorting test at its Apollo Hill gold project, near Leonora in the Western Australia goldfields, saying there is potential for using this type of mineral processing upgrade on a future mining operation.

Testing using a STEINERT Fines KSS L machine showed mineralised quartz can be efficiently separated from non-mineralised host basalt, according to the company, with the first sorting test achieving a 1.5x upgrade to the grade of a sample, taking material from 0.78 g/t Au to 1.2 g/t Au. Alongside this was a strong gold recovery of up to 91.9% with only two ore sorting passes.

Other notable results from this test work included a 28% volume reduction, which was achieved through the effective ejecting of a significant portion of waste rock and marginal material and, importantly, only 0.55% of the gold in sample was lost to fines in preparation for ore sorting (crushing and wet screening to +10 mm ore sorting size). “This low figure is considered a positive result as loss of metal to fines can otherwise render ore sorting ineffective,” the company said.

Saturn explained: “Ore sorting, particularly with strong recovery results as seen in the test conducted at Apollo Hill, can result in a more efficient mineral processing solution being developed for mining projects, with smaller tonnages of higher-grade material being beneficiated for mineral processing. This can potentially reduce the size and cost of mineral processing circuits, or increase gold milling capacity, and, in turn, positively impact overall project economics.”

Successful ore sorting treatment of selective higher-grade material from Apollo Hill could also lead to truck and toll treatment options for the deposit, according to the company.

Following these initial results, the company is planning further test work to refine and improve the application of ore sorting technology at Apollo Hill, it said.

Saturn Managing Director, Ian Bamborough, said the results were a “very important breakthrough” for project, which currently contains an indicated and inferred mineral resource of 20.7 Mt grading 1 g/t Au for 685,000 oz of gold.

“Positive ore sorting results have the potential to deliver a step change in the feed grade of material delivered into any mineral processing circuit,” he said. “Subject to further positive results, we may have the potential to significantly improve options for the economic development of Apollo Hill.”


A first for Swick’s Orexplore scanning tech

Swick Mining Services has signed the first commercial agreement for its Orexplore mineral scanning technology.

The agreement, between Swick’s fully-owned subsidiary Orexplore Australia and exploration company Saturn Metals, has already led to the first batch of 30m of core from Saturn’s Apollo Hill gold project in Western Australia being processed by the patented GeoCore X10 scanning machine and technology.

The Apollo Hill gold project is made up of nearly 1,000km² of ground near Leonora in the Goldfields region.

Swick Managing Director Kent Swick said, although small in value, the agreement was a major milestone for the Orexplore technology.

“This deal comes barely two months after Swick officially launched the Orexplore mineral analysis technology in Australia and is a major step towards commercialisation of this world-first technology.”

Orexplore was developed over a seven-year period in Sweden and provides real-time, non-destructive assay and tomography results using whole of core data that is an improvement on the multiple weeks delay currently used in destructive chemical testing, according to Swick.

GeoCore X10 core scanning machines use patented attenuation and x-ray fluorescence combined measurement techniques to enhance the identification and understanding of key features within the entire core including:

• Geochemical composition and mineralogy
• 3D structures
• Texture, fabric and grain size
• Density
• Controls on mineralisation.

The scan results are made available to the client for viewing and analysis through Orexplore’s Insight software. This enables interactive 3D manipulation of the tomography data which can lead to accurate definition of geological structures, the ability to define lithological contacts and the true boundaries of mineralisation. It also provides element concentration data for further analysis.

Kent Swick said: “We have seen good levels of interest across a wide spectrum of potential clients who have been trialling the product since it was introduced. Many of those are now deciding how to use the technology in their current work flows and we are confident a number of proposals will be converted into laboratory scanning agreements soon.”