Neometals has reported encouraging results from preliminary metallurgical test work done on mineralisation from the Armstrong deposit at its Mt Edwards nickel sulphide project near Kambalda in WA that points to “commercial grade” nickel concentrate. The test work returned a 48.8 per cent recovery for nickel, an enhanced nickel grade of 12.8 per cent, a 55.4 per cent recovery for palladium and a resultant palladium grade of 20.4 g/t.
ASX-listed Neometals has reported encouraging results from preliminary metallurgical test work done on mineralisation from the Armstrong deposit at its Mt Edwards nickel sulphide project about 35km south-west of Kambalda in WA.
The Perth-based company says the initial “sighter” flotation test work points to “commercial grade” nickel concentrate and material palladium grades for the deposit.
Mt Edwards takes in approximately 50km of strike length over and around the world-class nickel sulphide-rich Widgiemooltha Dome structure, which has played host to seven historical nickel mines, with Mincor Resources’ Cassini mine currently under development.
The latest published mineral resource estimate for Armstrong stands at 633,000 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 2.1 per cent nickel for 13,200 of contained nickel, based on a one per cent nickel cut-off grade.
For Neometals’ recent flotation test work, samples of mineralised drill chips were used from three RC holes completed by the company in late 2019.
Neometals says the test work carried out on the Armstrong primary nickel mineralisation not only pointed to the amenability of upgrading the nickel to acceptable concentrate levels but also that the palladium recovery level and grade in the test work may add to the revenue streams of any future commercial development. If palladium prices can hold anywhere near their currently lofty levels around US$2,600 per tonne, then they could be considerable.
According to the Perth-based company, concentrate grades for palladium and platinum provide “significant encouragement” for the potential of these minority elements to contribute to revenue, subject to further work.
The test work returned a 48.8 per cent recovery and an enhanced grade of 12.8 per cent for the nickel in concentrate and a 55.4 per cent recovery and a resultant grade of 20.4 grams per tonne for the palladium in concentrate.
Neometals Managing Director, Chris Reed said: “This initial result heralds a new chapter in the advancement of the Mt Edwards project. We are thrilled to discover the presence of palladium and platinum within our already significant nickel endowment. We will pause our mining studies and focus on a geometallurgical evaluation to quantify the potential for significant co-product revenue.”
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