Hualilan Gold Project

Challenger Exploration reports 94.9% gold recovery at Hualilan project

Challenger Exploration (ASX: CEL) announced that the first test in a series of metallurgical tests on the lower-grade intrusion-hosted mineralisation at the Hualilan Gold Project in San Juan Argentina has produced outstanding results, with gold recovery of 94.9% from gravity separation followed by single stage flotation; and production of an attractive, and saleable, gold and silver concentrate.

CEL reported that the analysis of the concentrate from the high-grade material confirmed that it has significant advantages. The company said that it is low in all deleterious elements and exceptionally low in arsenic; and discussions with potential off-takers have indicated it will have high payability.

CEL said that these results compliment the recoveries from Phase 1 metallurgical testing in February 2021.

Hualilan Project Location
The Hualilan Project is located in San Juan, Argentina

Phase 1 metallurgical testing at Hualilan

The company had recently commenced Phase 1 metallurgical testing at the Company’s flagship Hualilan Gold project, which is currently ongoing. The company had reported recoveries of 91-94% from the high-grade skarn mineralisation from Phase 1 metallurgical testing in February 2021.

~95% gold recovery

CEL said that the first test on the low-grade intrusion-hosted mineralisation, which represents the majority of the gold mineralisation at Hualilan, has produced almost 95% gold recovery.

The company said that the testing was conducted on a representative composite of the intrusion-hosted mineralisation from the Gap Zone and Magnata grading 1.1 g/t gold 7.0 g/t silver and 0.10 % zinc.

CEL reported that the first test produced recoveries of 95% (gold) and 87% (silver) into an attractive gold/silver concentrate from simple gravity separation followed by single stage sulphide flotation at an exceptionally low mass pull of 3.1%. The company said that the recoveries were 94.9% (gold), 86.8% (silver), 62.2% (copper), 62.9% (lead), 85.6% (zinc).

The summary metallurgical test results on intrusion-hosted mineralisation are as shown below.

CEL noted that these recoveries were significantly better than both the historical recoveries on the high-grade material and the Company’s initial expectations.

High-grade mineralisation

The company announced that the results from detailed analysis of the concentrate produced from the high-grade material show that it is low in all deleterious elements and extremely low in Arsenic. CEL said that the arsenic content was below the 30 ppm detection level.

The company said that preliminary discussions with potential off-takers confirm that given its composition, and the good gold grades, the concentrate has a number of advantages over most gold concentrates and it is likely to be highly sought and should achieve a high payability.

Next steps

CEL announced that it plans to undertake the following over the next 12 months – additional data precision validation and drilling as required; detailed interpretation of known mineralized zones; geophysical tests for undercover areas; structural interpretation and alteration mapping using high resolution satellite data and geophysics to better target extensions of known mineralisation; and field mapping program targeting extensions of known mineralisation.

The company said that over the next year, it would investigate further drilling requirements to upgrade both the unclassified mineralisation and mineralisation in the existing historical resources to meet JORC 2012 requirements; conduct initial drill program comprising verification (twin holes) and targeting extensions of the historically defined mineralisation; and do further metallurgical test work on lower grade mineralisation in the intrusions and oxidised mineralisation.

“The initial results from metallurgical testing of this lower grade material are outstanding and far exceeded our expectations”

Management comments

CEL Managing Director Kris Knauer said: “Hualilan has a foreign resource of over six hundred thousand ounces of high-grade gold, however the Company believes that the recently discovered lower-grade intrusion hosted mineralisation will provide the majority of the gold at Hualilan.

The initial results from metallurgical testing of this lower grade material are outstanding and far exceeded our expectations. They show the viability of a concentrate production and export route which provides us with a simple, low risk industry standard flotation flowsheet that unlocks value of the lower-grade intrusion-hosted material at Hualilan.

We are encouraged by discussions we have had with off -takers and traders. The clear message is that the grades and nature of our concentrates make them attractive and should translate to strong payability. Additionally, we expect to further increase their quality via more test work.”

Image Source:  Challenger Exploration

Written By Jonathan Norris
Jonathan is a founder of and has been covering the resources industry since 2018. With over 17 years experience in print, broadcast and online media, Jonathan has seen first hand the transformative effect of online niche media.