Novo Resources Corp.’s (TSX: NVO) Phase Two trial at Nullagine Gold Project in Western Australia has confirmed that strong upgrade ratios can be achieved by running lower grade material through the Sorter in line with results from higher grade material. However, the company has elected the next phase of trials while it assesses cost increases.
The Phase Two mechanical sorting trial has been completed, with samples from Comet Well, Purdy’s Reward, and Egina processed through the Sorter which was assembled adjacent to the Golden Eagle processing plant at the Nullagine Gold Project.
The Phase Two trials represent a culmination of four years of test work conducted by Novo to determine the amenability of mechanical sorting across its 11,000 sq km of Pilbara tenure in Western Australia.
The Phase Two trial involved 33 samples, primarily from the Comet Well and Purdy’s Reward tenements, which were processed though the Sorter. The Comet Well and Purdy’s Reward samples were taken from areas peripheral to the main mineraliwed zone representing lower-grade tenor material and contained approximately 145 tonnes of bulk sample material. Concentrates from each sample were collected in their entirety and the tails or ‘rejects’ stream was sub-sampled and sent for assay via Chrysos PhotonAssay.
The Phase Two trial confirmed that the mass pull to concentrate averaged 1.05% for lower-grade tenor material, which aligns with previously collected results from higher-grade lab scale test work.
Phase Three Trial
Following completion of the Phase Two trial, the Sorter was scheduled to be transported to Comet Well for the Phase Three trial, which is designed to process up to 20,000 tonnes of potentially mineralized material from the Comet Well and Purdy’s Reward projects.
Detailed project planning has confirmed that the expected cost of the Phase Three trial has significantly increased from earlier estimates. Work completed as part of the project plan development confirms the nuggety nature of the Comet Well and Purdy’s Reward mineralisation and the difficulty in confirming gold inventory.
The use of the Sorter to complete processing of a test parcel of potentially mineralised material remains the most appropriate means of determining potential gold deposition and project economics, and it is expected that the Phase Three trial will assist with establishing a modest mineral inventory for the Comet Well and Purdy’s Reward projects.
Following the production pause at Beatons Creek and requirement to direct immediate attention towards development of the Fresh mineral resource, along with exploration across high potential Pilbara-wide targets in the short-to-medium term, the Novo Board of Directors has made the decision to defer the Phase Three trial at Comet Well until the first half of CY2023. Novo’s Sorter project team has been reassigned to assist with the Beatons Creek Fresh feasibility study2.
Novo is dedicated to prioritising resources to deliver key workstreams at the Beatons Creek Fresh mineral resource including completion of the Feasibility Study, upgrading the current Fresh mineral resource, and continued resource and extensional drilling to expand potential for life-of-mine operations. Additionally, Novo is also focused on aggressively advancing the high-potential exploration targets at Becher for gold in the Egina district and at Purdy’s North for nickel in the West Pilbara district.
“While we are disappointed to defer the Phase Three trial at Comet Well, all work to date shows that innovative use of sorting technology for the Comet Well and Purdy’s Reward projects is expected to generate positive results. Our immediate focus is on delivering shareholder value through the plan we outlined for Phase Two operations at Beatons Creek,” Executive Co-Chairman, acting Chief Executive Officer, and director, Mike Spreadborough, said.
“We have a very busy second half planned and once we complete those various workstreams, we will re-consider the timing of the Phase Three trial at Comet Well and make a decision on the path forward.”
For further information please visit: https://novoresources.com/