Copper explorer Peel Mining (ASX: PEX) has announced “excellent” results from metallurgical and ore sorting testwork recently completed at its South Cobar copper project in New South Wales.
Metallurgical testwork focused on the Wirlong copper deposit, where a maiden resource is anticipated for release later this year.
In July, Peel revealed encouraging results from first stage metallurgical testing on a Wirlong sample that achieved 96.9% copper recovery to yield a 27.1% copper concentrate grade.
In today’s announcement, the company reported the locked cycle flotation method resulting in 95% copper recoveries to achieve a 32% copper concentrate grade.
Peel director of mining Jim Simpson described the metallurgical results as “excellent” and “as high as one could expect with chalcopyrite-dominant mineralisation”.
“This is largely due to the purity of the chalcopyrite, with essentially negligible other sulphide minerals,” he said.
Ore sorting tests demonstrate Wirlong’s potential
In addition, ore sorting trials were undertaken on mineralised samples from the Wirlong and Mallee Bull deposits, returning “excellent” results that highlight the ore’s pre-concentration potential.
Wirlong achieved a high waste rejection of 35-62% with low copper losses of less than 6%, while Mallee Bull achieved high waste rejection of 17-41% with copper losses of less than 8%.
“Ore sorting testwork has demonstrated the likely amenability of Wirlong mineralisation to early beneficiation via ore sorting, due to the heterogeneous style of sulphide mineralisation, which is prevalent at this deposit,” Mr Simpson said.
“Mallee Bull has more of a mixed style of sulphide mineralisation, however the ore sorting testwork results from there are also highly encouraging.”
The positive results follow a successful ore sorting program conducted on the Mallee Bull and Southern Nights deposits at the start of the year.
Following the successful results, Peel said further comminution and baseline flotation and locked cycle testwork is currently being undertaken on selected composites.
This work aims to further assess and optimise the recovery process and resultant concentrate grade. It will also form part of the South Cobar project’s concept and feasibility study work.
Wirlong’s maiden high-grade copper resource is due in the current December quarter. Drilling is also underway to upgrade the Mallee Bull resource.
South Cobar project
Peel’s 100% owned flagship project covers 3,370 square kilometres, making it the largest single company landholding in the Cobar Superbasin.
South Cobar is made up of three major discoveries made by Peel – the Mallee Bull copper-dominant deposit, the Wirlong copper deposit and the Wagga Tank-Southern Nights lead-zinc-silver deposit – together with the existing May Day gold-dominant deposit.
The project is currently estimated to hold 12.78 million tonnes in mineral resources, comprising 6.76Mt at 2.6% copper equivalent at Mallee Bull, 4.95Mt at 5% zinc, 2% lead and 78 grams per tonne silver at Wagga Tank-Southern Nights, and 1.07Mt at 1.02g/t gold and 26.3g/t silver at May Day.