Diversified explorer Kalamazoo Resources (ASX: KZR) reports that tests on ore at its Mt Olympus deposit in the Pilbara region of Western Australia have resulted in an “outstanding” gold recovery rate of up to 94%.
Mt Olympus is part of the company’s 1.65 million ounce Ashburton gold project acquired after it was divested by Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST).
The gold in concentrate grade averaged 31.8 grams per tonne with a maximum value of 39.2g/t.
The company says additional test work is now underway, including gravity recoverable gold, final concentrate assay testing and studies on final gold recoveries.
The project’s scoping study will begin in the June quarter.
Mt Olympus was main producer at Ashburton
The 217sq km Ashburton gold project lies just south of Paraburdoo and Tom Price.
A gas pipeline passes within 1km of the southern edge of the project area.
During 1996 and 1997, Sipa Resources (ASX: SRI) discovered four deposits at Ashburton – Mt Olympus (including West Olympus), Zeus, Peake, and Waugh.
Together these four open pits produced approximately 350,000oz of gold from 3.2Mt at an average grade of 3.3g/t gold between December 1998 and April 2004.
The majority of the gold came from Mt Olympus which produced 242,000oz from 2.5Mt at an average grade of 3g/t gold, with a recovery of 92% and a strip ratio of 3:1.
Project now substantially de-risked
Kalamazoo executive director Paul Adams said the initial phase of metallurgical test work has substantially de-risked the potential development of Ashburton.
“Given these positive results, we have immediately commenced the next phase of the metallurgical program,” he added.
This will enhance performance even further.
The flow sheet was designed to include a multi-phase cleaner process.
“This work had not been performed previously and we are encouraged to see the very significant difference this has made to the final concentrate grade,” Mr Adams said.
The aim of the test work was to determine whether Mt Olympus would be amenable to the production of high-grade gold sulphide concentrate.
The Pilbara Craton, on which Mt Olympus is located, is also host to the rapidly growing 6.8Moz Hemi discovery by De Grey Mining (ASX: DEG), the 1.5Moz Warrawoona project owned by Calidus Resources (ASX: CAI) and Toronto-listed Novo Resources’ Beaton Creek gold project.