Lion One Metals Limited (TSXV: LIO) (ASX: LLO) is accelerating mine development and plant construction following the completion of project financing, at the company’s wholly-owned Tuvatu Alkaline Gold Project in Fiji.
Lion One has advanced the number 2 development drive by over 250m and has completed the first cut of high-grade material from the URA1 lode. The samples taken from this first cut averaged 14g/t gold and are designated for the high-grade ROM stockpile.
“In conjunction with ongoing mine development, we are preparing to mobilize personnel for the installation and commissioning of the Tuvatu gold processing plant,” CEO Walter Berukoff said.
“All of the processing plant components have already been delivered to Fiji, with shipments of the remaining bulk materials in progress and expected to be delivered by the end of March to coincide with the completion of infrastructure for the mill area, electrowinning facility, and gold room.”
The Lion One processing plant will treat material using a two-stage crushing process, with a primary jaw crusher and secondary cone crusher feeding a two-stage grinding circuit. The ground material will feed an integrated two stage gravity concentration circuit with some concentrates treated by an intensive cyanide leaching reactor and the remainder of the concentrates leached using conventional cyanide Carbon in Leach (CIL) technology.
Gold will be recovered from the gold laden carbon using conventional absorption desorption recovery (ADR) technology and smelted on site to produce gold doré bars. The leached tailings will be treated using the SO2/air process to remove any residual cyanide. Filtered tailings will be transported to Lion One’s tailings storage facility 3.5km from the Tuvatu mine site.
Lion One plans to operate at an initial production capacity of 300t per day for the initial 18 months of operations before increasing the capacity to 500tpd in mid-2025. The initial mining will focus on the near- surface resource while advancing underground development into high-grade mineralization in Zone 500.
The 2023 drilling programme will be focused on three fronts: grade control drilling of the near-term production blocks; drill-testing regional targets with the aim of identifying additional separate mineralized systems within the greater Navilawa caldera; and completing the geophysical (CSAMT) surveys initiated in 2022 to delineate additional drill targets.
The Tuvatu Alkaline Gold Project is located on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji. The January 2018 mineral resource for Tuvatu, comprises 1,007,000t indicated at 8.50g/t Au (274,600oz. Au) and 1,325,000t inferred at 9.0g/t Au (384,000oz. Au) at a cut-off grade of 3.0g/t Au.
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