MetalsTech (ASX: MTC) said gravity and flotation recovery at its Sturec gold mine have returned “excellent” results.
The tests were carried out on transitional (semi-oxidised) and sulphide ore from the Andrej adit at the Slovakian operation.
Gravity gold recoveries ranged from 52% to 74%, increasing up to 88% after flotation — and rising again to as high as 98% when the flotation tailings were also leached.
The company said the strong gold recovery profile of sulphide ore supports the potential for a simple gravity separation and flotation processing strategy, thus significantly reducing capital spending needed.
MetalsTech is planning for the Sturec mine to produce a gold concentrate for export from Slovakia, after which it could be processed further using conventional technologies used on sulphide concentrations.
It is also investigating whether non-cyanide leaching could be permitted in Slovakia.
The mine is located 17km west of Banska Bystrica, the largest city in the central region of the central European country, and 150km northeast of Slovakia’s capital of Bratislava.
It contains a total mineral resource of 21.2 million tonnes at 1.5 grams per tonne gold and 11.6g/t silver for 1.02 million ounces of contained gold and 7.95Moz contained silver.
Outside the planned open pit there are an additional 388,000t at 3.45g/t gold and 21.6g/t silver, containing 43,000oz and 270,000oz respectively.
Wide range of low capital options
MetalsTech chairman Russell Moran said the sulphide ore at Sturec is the primary target and has demonstrated excellent gold recoveries from simple gravity separation and flotation.
“This opens up a wide range of simple and low capex (capital expenditure) processing opportunities for Sturec if this gold recovery profile continues,” he added.
The samples were assessed at Nagrom Laboratories in Perth for bulk ore gold and silver recovery as a precursor to testing core samples that will be recovered from the current diamond drilling program.
The tests were undertaken to determine whether to produce gold and silver concentrates for treatment in Slovakia —using a non-cyanide processing technology — or export it to somewhere else in Europe, Poland for example, where the concentrates could be directly smelted or processed using traditional cyanide leaching.