Ongoing metallurgical test work of ore from Caravel Minerals’ flagship copper project in the Wheatbelt region of WA has established that it can be treated using standard process techniques with high recoveries. Testing has found that high recoveries can be achieved using low reagent doses, which could lower processing costs. The company has also revised resources to 1.3Mt of copper, up from the previous estimate of 1.28Mt.
Ongoing metallurgical test work of ore from Caravel Minerals’ namesake copper project in the Wheatbelt region of WA has established that it can be treated using standard process techniques with high recoveries.
The tests highlighted that the copper minerals from the Caravel project are highly hydrophobic and require low reagent doses to obtain high recoveries, which is expected to help lower processing costs.
In addition, preliminary cleaner flotation test work to date suggests that a high-grade copper concentrate can be produced.
Indeed, the latest batch testing after regrinding produced copper grades of between 26.4% and 29.2% at recoveries of between 80.3% and 89.7%.
These figures are expected to improve as cleaner conditions are optimised and as locked cycle testing gets underway.
Separately, a study undertaken by Perth-based consultants MSP Engineering has identified the Gyratory Crusher ‐ Secondary Crushing – HPGR – Ball Mill as the preferred comminution circuit at a throughput of 15 million tonnes per annum.
The ore will then be processed by conventional rougher‐cleaner flotation.
MSP selected this circuit from several equipment options as it resulted in the lowest power consumption and lowest operating cost.
Caravel has also revised the Indicated and Inferred resource at the project to 372 million tonnes at 0.35% for 1.3 million tonnes of the contained red metal.
This incorporates assays from five drill holes at the Bindi Deposit and marks an incremental increase from the previous estimate outlined in February this year.
Notable intersections from drilling at the Bindi Hinge zone were 138 metres grading 0.35% copper from 74m down-hole including 64m @ 0.53% copper from 120m and 200m @ 0.31% copper from 42m including 8m @ 0.52% copper from 84m and 16m @ 0.42% copper from 110m.
The company added that its mining, metallurgy and processing studies are expected to produce updated CAPEX and OPEX estimates next month.
Initial environmental studies required for regulatory approvals processes have also progressed with baseline work indicating that no significant species would be impacted by the project in a manner that could not be managed.