Freehill Mining (ASX: FHS) says metallurgical testing results confirm that high quality of ore at its Yerbas Buenas magnetite project in Chile.
The successful testing of the diamond core from the 2019-2020 drilling has been completed as part of a feasibility study on developing the YB6 target within Yerbas Buenas.
A concentrate of more than 62% iron concentrate has been produced using a simple and dry process.
Additional testing of the concentrates using Davis Tube Separation has generated high quality pellet feeds of greater than 70% iron.
More testing will reduce contaminant levels
Additional testing shows the sinter feed reduced to about 45 microns can produce a high quality, low impurity pellet feed.
According to Freehill, what was most encouraging was even lower grade feed samples were able to be generate a pellet feed of more than 70% iron.
“As this is the first time that metallurgical testing has been performed on YB6 material, the results are extremely encouraging,” the company said.
Further test work is expected to lead to lower contaminant levels.
Freehill’s development concept is that of an open pit with a conventional crushing and screening operation.
The company operated a trial mining and demonstration processing plant in the YB1 orebody for almost two years supplying sinter feed and pre-concentrate to one of Chile’s largest pellet feed plants.
Prospective for gold and copper
Yerbas Buenas is in Region IV of Chile, located on the Pacific coast and about 500km north of the capital, Santiago, and 50km from the cities of Coquimbo and La Serena.
It has a proven magnetite resource as well as being prospective for both gold and copper.
Freehill noted that drilling results to date have so far shown that magnetite mineralisation extends along at least 2km of contiguous corridor within a 3km-long structure extending from the northern boundary of the property to the southern one.
Greater La Serena has a population of 400,000 and a modern airport.
The project area is just 2km from the four-lane Pan American Highway.