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Excellent ore sorting results for Novo on Pilbara gold

TSX-listed conglomerate gold player, Novo Resources, has achieved some outstanding gold recovery rates on the latest set of mechanical ore sorting tests for multi-tonne bulk samples of crushed ore from its Egina and Beatons Creek gold deposits in the Pilbara.  Tests done at laboratories in Sydney and Germany have recovered between 92 and 100 per cent of gold in three size fractions from the Egina sample and the Beatons Creek fractions returned between 82 and 94 per cent of the gold.

The latest round of tests that were conducted in Sydney used TOMRA’s mechanical ore sorter fitted with an X-ray transmission scanning device, whilst the tests in Germany were done using TOMRA’s fine diamond recovery prototype that deploys an ultra-high-resolution, X-ray transmission scanner to do the sorting. This new prototype also delivered 100 per cent success in recovering introduced gold nuggets down to 0.7mm in size.

The company said it will use the results of tests in both Sydney and Germany to determine which method and type of equipment to deploy in the field during the 2020 dry-season field program.  Novo said it has processed a bulk sample of 5.4 tonnes from the Egina deposit and a 2.8 tonne sample from the Beatons Creek deposit at the laboratories.

The Egina sample was sieved into three size fractions, +0.0/-6.0 mm, +6.0/-18.0 mm and +18.0/-50.0 mm, with the two coarser fractions delivering an impressive 100 per cent recovery and the finest fraction returned 92 per cent recoveries at the Sydney lab.  The finest fraction was also sorted in Germany using the higher resolution scanner and that test also achieved a 100 per cent recovery rate.

The Beatons Creek sample was crushed and screened into the same three sieve size fractions prior to sorting in Sydney.  The coarsest fraction delivered 94 per cent recoveries and the middle-sized fraction recovered 82 per cent of the gold.  The finest fraction from Beatons Creek has now been tested in Germany with assay results due in shortly.

Novo said the primary goal of this laboratory testing on bulk samples was to determine which mechanical sorter provider would become the preferred equipment provider under a hiring arrangement, to enrich and possibly process the ore from each deposit on site.

Management said that the commercialisation strategy for its unique Pilbara gold deposits was to process its mined ore at site using cheap mechanical crushing, screening, sieving and sorting equipment, prior to transporting it to a mill for final processing.  This mechanical enrichment process has the added bonus of actually recovering gold nuggets at site without the need for expensive, water-based processing on site or off-site mill-based processing options.

Novo Resources CEO, Rob Humphryson said: “These very encouraging results utilizing TOMRA mechanical, sensor-based sorters lend further support to the effectiveness of mechanical sorting technology to substantially upgrade and/or process Novo’s nuggety gold deposit styles.”

“Field trials with larger bulk samples under production conditions are needed to validate these highly encouraging, indicative laboratory test results. TOMRA, Steinert and third-party providers have suitable mechanical sorting units available for hire, and plans are well underway to deploy a mechanical sorter into the field this season.”

Novo’s strategy of deploying mechanical sorting using state of the art scanning equipment at site this field season appears to be on track, if these latest test results are any guide.  The TSX-listed company is looking dangerously close to cracking the code of how to mine a conglomerate gold deposit cheaply and if it manages to do so it seems that there will be no shortage of gold bearing ground to process.

Is your ASX listed company doing something interesting ? Contact : matt.birney@wanews.com.au