Multi-national, tin-focused exploration company Elementos (ASX: ELT) has completed first phase ore pre-concentration performance testing on a three-tonne bulk sample from its advanced Oropesa project in Spain.
Conducted at the facilities of Tomra Sorting Solutions in Germany, the phase involved the separation of high-density and low-density particles using Tomra’s x-ray transmission (XRT) technology.
The samples were representative of Oropesa’s potential different host rocks (sandstone and conglomerate), ore grade (low, medium and high) and weathering (weathered, transitional and fresh).
Tomra claims XRT makes it possible to obtain a high purity level in sorting materials irrespective of size, moisture or surface pollution level.
Elementos chief executive officer Chris Creagh said he was “impressed” with the outcome, with initial visual inspection of product and waste samples indicating good separation and showing that ore sorting could potentially provide significant operational and financial benefits.
“We are very encouraged by the results of our first technical program at Oropesa and while we are still waiting for final assay results, early inspections of the sorted samples demonstrate great potential,” he said.
“A successful program could have a significant impact on the overall design of the Oropesa plant and potentially lower our capital and operating costs.”
The second phase of testing will involve detailed chemical analyses of all product and waste samples to determine the overall performance of the process.
Results for the second phase are expected in late June 2019.
All results will be incorporated into a process flowsheet for inclusion in the Oropesa feasibility study currently underway.
The Oropesa project consists of a 14.51 square kilometre concession package located 75km north-west of Cordoba and 180km north-east of Seville, in the region of Andalucía in southern Spain.
Tin mineralisation was first recognised at Oropesa in 1982, and exploration activity since 2010 (including 261 drill holes) resulted in the definition of the current measured, indicated and inferred resource of 67,520 tonnes at grades of up to 0.55% tin.
The project area contains numerous geophysical and geochemically-anomalous regions which could potentially extend the resource with additional exploration.
In January, Elementos announced it had partially completed the acquisition of the Oropesa project from Minas De Estano De Espana SLU – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian junior exploration company Eurotin Limited.
In announcing the heads of agreement with Eurotin in July 2018, Elementos claimed the project was one of the “best undeveloped tin resources in the western world”, with a large JORC mineral resource based on more than 54,000m of drilling; open cut mining options; simple metallurgy and processing; and near-term production potential.
“[This] acquisition represents an excellent strategic fit with our core capability of developing tin projects,” it said.
At mid-afternoon, shares in Elementos were steady at $0.005.