Base and precious metals developer Red River Resources (ASX: RVR) has produced a saleable gold concentrate from rich historical tailings at the Liontown deposit within the greater Thalanga project, near Charters Towers in north Queensland.
Tailings were reclaimed and transported to Thalanga during April and May and campaign processed through the project’s mill this month to produce approximately 600 tonnes of concentrate containing 1,300 ounces gold.
Processing of polymetallic ore from the Far West deposit, 500m from the mill, temporarily ceased while the tailings were being produced.
Far West is the down dip extension of the Thalanga West mineralisation and is classified as volcanic-hosted massive sulphide (VHMS) containing copper, zinc, lead and silver along with a suite of sulphide minerals.
Once tailings processing was complete, the mill reverted back to producing copper, lead and zinc concentrate from Far West ore.
Red River managing director Mel Palancian said the tailings production is a move forward for Liontown’s development.
“The tailings would have [eventually] been moved during development and mining activities at Liontown and doing it now has allowed us to take advantage of current high gold prices,” he said.
The Thalanga project comprises the 650,000 tonnes-per-annum Thalanga mill, which produces copper, lead and zinc concentrates with material precious metal credits (gold and silver) from high-grade VHMS deposits hosted in the Cambro-Ordovician Mt Windsor Volcanics sequence in Queensland’s Charters Towers region.
Red River is currently mining the Far West deposit as a mechanised underground mine and plans to develop the gold-rich Liontown deposit as an open pit and underground operation for additional mill feedstock.
Liontown will be the third mine within the greater Thalanga project and Red River said an pre-existing mining lease may enable early development works to commence.
The deposit hosts a mineral resource comprising the Liontown Main, New Queen, Western Footwall and Gap lodes of 2.6 million tonnes at 0.7% copper, 1.6% lead, 5.1% zinc, 1.4 grams per tonne gold and 30g/t silver (12.4% zinc equivalent).
Western Footwall and Gap are believed to contain a high-grade copper-gold resource of 612,000t at 1.6% copper, 0.7% lead, 2.1% zinc, 3.5g/t gold and 13g/t silver.
The company has also reported a separate shallow oxide resource of 113,000t at 1.9g/t gold and 24g/t silver.
Liontown mine design work and feasibility studies initially targeting the New Queens Lens are expected to be completed by year-end.