Nova Minerals Limited (ASX: NVA, FSE: QM3) has achieved what it describes as exceptional gold leach recoveries averaging 76% at the Korbel Gold Deposit within the Estelle Project area in Alaska.
Managing Director Avi Kimelman said all initial metallurgical test-work results are consistent with Nova’s expectation that supports a future low strip, bulk mining, heap leach mining operation.
Mr Kimelman said the preliminary metallurgical test-work results are also a further endorsement of the quality of the mineralisation hosted at Korbel, and are a very positive factor for future development of this project into an economic mining operation.
“We are pleased with these initial recovery results as they validate the potential to realise high rates of gold recovery from a low strip, bulk mining, heap leach operation at the Korbel prospect,” Mr Kimelman said.
“Moreover, the 2020 drill programme shows great potential to significantly increase our 2.5Moz Inferred Gold resource at Korbel both in size and confidence while maintaining our run rate of keeping our discovery cost per ounce extremely low on favourable mineralisation for future project development.
“Not all that many opportunities come around to drill a system this large such as what we have at Estelle. The Estelle Gold project is starting to show all the hallmarks of a district with potential of multiple major mineralised zones that can support standalone operations with Korbel (one of fifteen known targets) showing all the early signs of a tier one operation.
“We are eager to move RPM and Shoeshine in the development category subject to furthers works to support the next potential development ready prospects.”
Mr Kimelman said Nova has now established priority drill targets with the goal to increase both size and confidence of the current 2.5 Moz Inferred Gold Resource contained within Blocks A and B. Nova has also defined outside targets in Korbel Blocks C, D and the RPM prospect.
The gold leach studies were conducted on a total of 25 drill samples were collected for gold cyanidation (AuCN) analysis at ALS assay laboratory.
Mr Kimelman said that as expected, the 12 hour bottle roll test showed significantly increased recoveries across the board, establishing a clear positive correlation between leach retention time and recovery.
“Furthermore, the 12 hour bottle roll result provides the most representative data to date reflecting how the Korbel Gold Deposit mineralised material will perform in any future heap leach mining operation scenario.
“As such, the company views these results as a very encouraging component in the technical matrix which continues to build in support of the economic viability of the Estelle Gold Project,” Mr Kimelman said.
“Furthermore, after Nova successfully confirming its maiden resource at the Estelle Project in southern Alaska, the Company plans to fast track exploration at the Project, with a view to progressively expanding the resource base.
“The company’s funds will be invested in a series of ongoing exploration campaigns – including targeting, mapping and drilling programs – across the district-scale Estelle Project.
Mr Kimelman said immediate priorities will include a resource upgrade at Oxide Korbel Blocks A and B as soon as practical, additional drilling at Oxide Korbel Blocks C and D and RPM , and a maiden project-wide resource statement to build on the maiden 2.5Moz inferred gold resource.