Mechanical sorting to help Novo choose gold circuit
TSX listed Novo Resources is now determining which processing route to use for its Beatons Creek and Egina “nuggety” gold projects in Western Australia’s East Pilbara by subjecting 10 tonnes of their combined ores to mechanical sorting test work.
Around 5t of Beatons Creek’s gold-bearing conglomerate and another 5t of Egina’s gravels have been shipped to Steinert Global’s test facility in Perth so they can be put through sorting trials during December.
It is envisaged the Beatons Creek material will be crushed and screened, while Egina’s gravel will just be screened, in preparation for further test work.
Once the WA stage is complete, the bulk test materials will be transferred to TOMRA’s facility in Sydney for further assessment during the first quarter of 2020.
Novo said the test work was designed to gauge the veracity of recent advances in the scanning and sorting capabilities of both companies.
Of the two projects, Beatons Creek is the most advanced, with a current indicated mineral resource of 6.645 million tonnes at 2.1 grams/tonne gold for 457,000 gold ounces and an inferred resource of 4.295 Mt at 3.2g/t gold for 446,000 gold ounces.
Because of recent rapid advancements in mechanical ore sorting technology, Novo has conceptualised a potentially viable “dry” processing pathway for Beatons Creek.
Dry circuits are usually used when water isn’t necessary in the circuit, or it simply isn’t available on site.
Novo said there were a number of good reasons for looking at the dry option.
Firstly, a dry circuit has the potential to significantly reduce capital and operating costs compared to conventional “wet” processing methods.
Secondly, its construction period is shorter than that of a conventional wet processing operation.
Furthermore, a dry approach could allow the implementation of some modular design into the circuit, leading to cost effective mobilisation and relocation.
It also negates and or minimises water and chemical use.
Finally, dry processing could help unlock Novo’s other assets in the East Pilbara.
According to the company, a successful mechanical ore sorter trial of Beatons Creek’s ores could lead to a larger metallurgical test program in order to determine what kind of crushing, screening and sorting will be incorporated into a processing flow sheet.
Novo also anticipates using proven technologies given the commercial availability of dry crushing, grinding and screening equipment.
The purpose of the mechanical sorting test work on Egina’s ore is threefold – to determine gold recovery capabilities of mechanical sorting as a means of primary separation, to assess the applicability of the technology as a tool to support field exploration activities and to determine which model of mechanical sorter is preferred for use in the field trials.
Novo Resources Chief Executive Officer Rob Humphryson said: “The pace of development of mechanical sorting technology continues to astound us.”
"We are fortunate that our nuggety gold deposits appear to lend themselves to “dry” processing pathways involving mechanical sorters, technology that may generate favourable economic and environmental outcomes.”
“Considering we can readily access outcropping gold mineralisation on all of our properties, we have a unique opportunity to quickly collect bulk samples for testing mechanical sorting technology on a meaningful scale.”
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