Clean Saleable Nickel And Copper Concentrates Generated
St George Mining Limited (ASX: SGQ) reports it has received “excellent” results from metallurgical test work on nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation from its flagship Mt Alexander Project, located in the north-eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.
Executive Chairman, John Prineas, said preliminary metallurgical test work has been completed by Strategic Metallurgy Pty Ltd in Perth on samples of massive and disseminated mineralisation from drill hole MAD177 completed at the Investigators Prospect.
The objective of this test work was to assess if nickel and copper could be recovered into separate saleable concentrates by flotation process, and to determine the PGE deportment in the concentrates.
Mr Prineas said the results are very favourable and are likely to have a positive impact on project economics for a potential mining operation at Mt Alexander.
Two composites representing both massive and disseminated mineralisation from MAD177 were assessed as part of the test work programme.
An analysis of the PGE content confirms significant values for a number of highly sought after PGEs. In particular, Palladium and Rhodium – both of which are currently trading at historically elevated prices – occur at levels that are expected to attract very valuable smelter credits.
Separate clean concentrates were produced for nickel and copper from each of the massive and disseminated sulphide samples. The disseminated sulphides included elevated magnesium indicative of talc, which was successfully depressed in the flotation process resulting in a clean, saleable nickel concentrate being produced from the disseminated sulphides.
The important Fe:MgO ratio was more than 100 in the nickel concentrate from the massive sulphides – an excellent result. The Fe:MgO ratio for the nickel concentrate from the disseminated sulphides was 6.8 – lower but still acceptable for a saleable concentrate.
“We are delighted with the early results of this metallurgical test work programme. The high quality of our Mt Alexander mineralisation has been confirmed with separate clean nickel and copper concentrates produced from both the massive and disseminated sulphides,” Mr Prineas said.
“Importantly, we are seeing high values of PGEs, cobalt and silver – all of which could generate significant credits and have a positive impact on the economics for a potential mining operation at Mt Alexander which is currently being assessed by ongoing studies.
“We are confident that the metallurgical results can be further optimised as we undertake more detailed test work and progress marketing studies to maximise potential net smelter revenues.”