Metallurgical testwork shows Galena Mining’s Abra deposit is not only one of the world’s most significant undeveloped lead-silver deposits in terms of tonnes and grade, but it also has the mineralogy to produce clean, high-grade concentrates. New testwork for the PFS shows lead recoveries of 90% plus and concentrate grades of more than 72%, well above the typical quality of other operating mines says Galena.
New metallurgical testwork on Galena Mining’s 100%-owned Abra lead-silver deposit has added to its growing status as a globally significant, high-grade ore-body.
In an update to the ASX, Galena reported that testwork as part of a more detailed Pre-Feasibility Study had achieved outstanding metallurgical recoveries and produced a very high-grade, clean concentrate.
Lead recoveries of more than 90% were achieved and resulted in a very high-grade concentrate of more than 72% lead. The results exceeded Galena’s expectations from modelling based on earlier testwork for a scoping study.
Galena CEO, Ed Turner, said: “This latest metallurgical test-work has delivered excellent results, significantly improving on the achieved lead concentrate grade between 1990 and 2007. The very high recovery of more than 90% and corresponding outstanding lead concentrate grades exceeds expectations. It is worth noting the benchmark lead concentrates for today’s operating base metal mines are commonly around a 60% lead concentrate at about 70% recovery.”
In fact, every aspect of Abra’s mineralogy seems to be enhancing the project’s economics. The testing showed that lead could be liberated at a relatively coarse grain size and the mineralisation has only medium hardness, both of which should reduce the project’s energy input.
Furthermore, there were no elevated levels of deleterious elements that could attract penalties from offtake customers.
Additional testwork on samples from across a wider area within the Abra JORC resource is well advanced and will be reported in coming weeks. Galena said these results were expected to enhance already excellent results.
Last month Galena began work in earnest on the PFS for Abra, which has been transformed into a high grade lead deposit with highly impressive economics thanks to the young company’s strategy of focusing on a high-grade core rather than a very large tonnage but low grade ores.
A low-capex underground development is planned to exploit a high-grade resource of 11.2 million tonnes at 10.1% lead, which sits within a 36.6 million tonne orebody at 7.3% lead. The newly defined resource figures possibly rank Abra as one of the world’s most significant lead-silver deposits.
Galena has set an aggressive development timetable, with a bankable feasibility study, offtake agreements and financing all on the horizon in 2019 and underground development to begin before the end of that same year.