Novo Resources has taken yet another step towards commercial gold production, revealing that it is in advanced discussions with process equipment supplier Steinert Australia to acquire a mechanical ore sorting unit to field test its conglomerate-gold ores in the Pilbara. The unit will be manufactured in Germany and is expected to be deployed into the Pilbara in the latter half of the 2020 field season.
Novo Resources has taken yet another step towards commercial gold production, revealing that it is in advanced discussions with process equipment supplier Steinert Australia to acquire a mechanical ore sorting unit to field test its conglomerate-gold ores in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Novo has undertaken a battery of laboratory scale ore sorting test work in recent months to better understand the distribution of gold within its conglomeritic host units with a view to developing processing methods for these gold-rich ores. The use of ore sorting technology is seen as a potential game-changer for the development of the deposits, producing encouraging results in terms of both enhanced productivity and gold recovery. The next stage is for the technology to be field tested before the company settles on a final processing solution.
Novo Resources CEO, Rob Humphryson said: “We have achieved outstanding laboratory level mechanical sorting test results utilizing both Steinert and TOMRA sorters. It’s now time to field test productivity and performance. This Steinert unit will be equipped with technology that is capable of testing material from all our coarse gold projects.”
“Should field testing of mechanical sorting prove successful, it is likely that the final utilization of this technology will involve a hybrid solution involving equipment from both (Steinert and TOMRA) suppliers.”
A KSS 100F LIXT fine mechanical sorting unit is expected to be deployed to Novo’s 100%-owned Purdy’s Reward and Comet Well JV projects, 45 km southeast of Karratha, in the second half of 2020. The company is currently preparing the paperwork for the required approvals to undertake small scale operations at a number of prospects through the project area.
The initial test program will source up to 10,000 tonnes of ores from the Purdy’s Reward deposit with a further 20,000 tonnes to be sourced from the nearby Comet Well and 47K discoveries.
Small parcels of ore may also be processed from other developing prospects too, including Egina. The company recently expanded its Pilbara tenure to include over 13,750 km2 of prospective conglomerate-gold, so it has no shortage of potential ore sources as it advances its innovative test program.
The company’s field-testing program is designed to better understand the extent of its conglomerate host units, the distribution of gold within those units and the amenity of the various gold ores to upgrading and processing through the ore sorter.
In addition, the mechanical ore sorter will provide Novo with an understanding of potential throughput rates and gold recoveries from the various feed size fractions, providing crucial information necessary to estimate potential operational costs. The program will effectively upscale the current feasibility program from lab to a real-world processing scenario.
Novo expects to place its order for the ore sorter in the coming weeks with the machine to be manufactured in Steinert Germany. It is expected to be delivered within 18 weeks and deployed into the Pilbara the latter half of the 2020 field season.
Unlike traditional lode style gold ore bodies that can be drilled, assessed and mined, conglomerate gold, that typically involves very nuggetty gold bearing ore that has been transported by water historically, is not quite that easy to assess with a drill bit as it is easy to miss the gold or hit uber-rich patches that may not be fully representative of the wider ore body.
Novo is essentially pioneering the use or this type of ore sorting technology to sort the wheat from the chaff and if it can manage to get it right the rewards are potentially lucrative and beyond.
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