Auroch Minerals (ASX: AOU) has successfully completed metallurgical testwork on shallow high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation from its 80%-owned Nepean Nickel Project in Western Australia.
Head assays were taken for three composite drill-core samples which delivered nickel grades of up to 7.18% for the massive sulphide sample.
Test work following the discovery has also confirmed that the mineralisation responds well to conventional flotation beneficiation, with nickel recoveries between 85% to 97%.
The company notes that all three samples were ale to produce saleable concentrate grades in excess of 13% nickel, though at a lower recovery rate.
Speaking on the results, Auroch Managing Director Aidan Patel said: “We are very happy with the results from this first phase of metallurgical test work at Nepean. We knew we have very shallow, high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation at Nepean that may potentially be extracted in an open pit mining scenario, but because of the oxidation of the mineralisation being so close to surface, we were unsure if we would be able to produce a saleable grade nickel sulphide concentrate.
“The results are extremely encouraging and show that this shallow nickel sulphide mineralisation will indeed produce a saleable grade nickel concentrate”
The results are extremely encouraging and show that this shallow nickel sulphide mineralisation will indeed produce a saleable grade nickel concentrate, and furthermore that the nickel recoveries are more than acceptable.
As such, the results justify continuing work on the Nepean Scoping Study, and the company will now commence work on updating the MRE for the shallow portion of the known nickel sulphide mineralisation at Nepean so that we can begin work on mine designs and optimisation work on potential open-pit mining scenarios.”
The Nepean Nickel Project is located approximately 60km south-west of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, and contains the historic high-grade Nepean Nickel Mine which produced 1,108,457 tonnes of ore at an average recovered grade of 2.99% for 32,202 tonnes of nickel metal between 1970 and 1987.
Images: Auroch Minerals Ltd