Polymetallic explorer Pacifico Minerals (ASX: PMY) has returned “highly positive” results from a recent phase one metallurgical testwork program at its 75%-owned Sorby Hills lead-silver-zinc project in Western Australia’s north.
According to the company, the results confirm the potential for the project to produce high-quality lead concentrate containing appreciable silver credits.
Rough flotation testing reportedly indicated up to 96% lead and 95% silver recovery on fresh composite, and up to 91% lead and 95% silver recovery on oxide composite, while cleaner flotation testing confirmed a final concentrate grade of 65% lead can be produced.
These flotation recoveries were higher than the assumptions made in the recent pre-feasibility study, released in March.
Meanwhile, heavy liquid separation testing returned “outstanding results” with lead losses below than the 10% assumed in the pre-feasibility, Pacifico reported.
The company said it anticipates this phase one testwork to be completed by the end of this month.
It will then move onto a phase two program to support an optimised pre-feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
The phase two testwork will use ore samples from the phase two infill and expansion drilling program, which commenced at the project in late May.
A phase three metallurgical program is then expected to follow, to support a definitive feasibility study.
Sorby Hills project
Pacifico has a 75% interest in the Sorby Hills lead-silver-zinc project with the remaining 25% stake being held by Chinese lead smelting company Henan Yuguang Gold & Lead Co.
Following an infill drilling program at the start of 2019, Pacifico upgraded the project’s global resource base by 82% to 29.97 million tonnes grading at 4.7% lead equivalent (3.7% lead, 43 grams per tonne silver and 0.6% zinc, using a 1% lead cut-off).
Sorby Hill’s current pre-feasibility study proposes a $94.5 million development centred around an open pit operation with a 1Mt per annum plant using conventional flotation processing technology.
By afternoon trade, Pacifico shares were up 14.29% to $0.008.