Nova Minerals has engaged DRA Global to conduct Phase 1 and 2 ore sorting test work at the Korbel gold deposit, in Alaska, USA.
This work will help continue Nova’s progression of the deposit towards a future low strip, bulk minable, heap leach operation, it said.
This is not the first ore sorting remit the engineering firm has had. Back in November, DRA was instructed by Snow Lake Resources to look into ore sorting options at the Thompson Brothers lithium project, in Manitoba, Canada. Snow Lake Resources was previously spun out of Nova Minerals.
The objective of the study through 2020 is to assess the suitability of sorting applicable to the specific style of mineralisation contained at Korbel. It will also involve test work, design, management and supervision to determine ore sorting amenability. Additionally, the study will assess the overall impact of the ore sorting circuit in a future flowsheet. This will include completion of a dynamic simulation in phase 2 to establish ore sorting stockpile and ore sorting requirements for the optimal capital expenditure (capex), operating expenditure, operability and maintainability of the overall process plant.
High level deliverables will include generation of process mass and water balances, mechanical equipment list, and a concept level (AACE Class 5) capex estimate for the entire plant.
The company said: “Nova recognises the need for sorting studies early on in the mine development cycle. These kinds of studies help to keep moving the project towards prefeasibility.”
In addition, the sorting study will run concurrently with the 2020 resource drilling program. Subject to drilling and positive results, Nova sees various processing options at Korbel. These options include heap leach, carbon-in-pulp (CIP) circuit, or a combination of the two.
Nova Minerals Managing Director, Avi Kimelman, said: “We are very pleased with the progress that the company is making towards delivering on its plan to rapidly unlocking the Estelle Gold District through both significantly increasing resources and fast tracking the Block B ‘Starter Pit’ to development. This sorting test work commencing simultaneously with our drilling maintains our strategy of saving time, resources and money by streamlining data and productivity to deliver strong shareholder returns in as short a timeframe as possible whilst still ensuring that the technical and economic possibilities are fully understood and progressed.”
Kimelman said Nova’s greatest accomplishment in 2019 was proving up 2.5 Moz of gold in the inferred resource category in a very short period of time and demonstrating “exceptional” gold leach recoveries averaging 76% at the Korbel deposit (one of 15 known prospects).
“We look forward to amplifying our exploration and project development efforts in 2020 and are committed to keeping our shareholders constantly updated on our progress.”