Hastings Technology Metals Ltd (ASX: HAS) has announced that metallurgical test work carried out on drilling samples from Simon’s Find deposit, part of the Yangibana Rare Earths Project in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region, has delivered “strong results”.
Results included 86% beneficiation recovery generating a concentrate grade of 8.9% Nd2O3 from flotation test work; and 98% recovery through hydrometallurgical acid bake and water leach test work on flotation samples.
Results included 86% beneficiation recovery generating a concentrate grade of 8.9% Nd2O3 from flotation test work
HAS said that the beneficiation concentrate results from Simon’s Find are comparable to other Yangibana deposits which have much higher mined TREO grades.
The company said that the results are being fed into the Yangibana Project updated Ore Reserves estimate, for which a maiden ore reserve estimate will be defined for Simon’s Find.
Test work at Simon’s Find
The company had recently carried out metallurgical test work on drilling samples from Simon’s Find, one of the key deposits that make up the Yangibana Rare Earths Project. The Simon’s Find deposit is part of the 8km-long Bald Hill – Simon’s Find – Frasers mineralised trend and is strategically located close to the site of Yangibana’s proposed process plant and infrastructure.
HAS said that the test work completed to date investigated the flotation performance of a representative composite sample from the Simon’s Find drilling program in 2020 and earlier as well as 22 individual variability samples. Variability test work within the Simon’s Find deposit aimed to test some of the different parameters of the mineralisation and develop an understanding of ore blending requirements. Two blends of a composite sample concentrate were tested through acid bake and water leach hydrometallurgical tests.
This test work is a key milestone in the Company’s finalisation of its updated Ore Reserves and mine scheduling that will underpin Yangibana’s development.
Standout metallurgical test results
The company reported that strong results were delivered from the metallurgical test work at Simon’s Find.
Flotation test work
Hastings said that the flotation performance on the composite sample resulted in an Nd2O3 recovery of 86.3% at 8.9% Nd2O3 grade, which is comparable to the 2017 Definitive Feasibility Study baseline of a recovery of 86.4% recovery at 9.0% Nd2O3 grade.
Acid bake and water leach test work
The company reported that the acid bake and water leach tests achieved an Nd2O3 recovery of 98%, which is 4% higher than at other Yangibana deposits.
HAS said that the final water leach liquor chemistry was consistent with that of other deposits across Yangibana and suitable for further downstream impurity removal and mixed rare earths concentrate (MREC) precipitation steps designed for the project.
HAS noted that the mineralisation at Simon’s Find contains the highest level of Nd2O3 + Pr6O11 to total rare earth oxides (TREO) across all deposits at Yangibana, and the highest NdPr levels of any known rare earths project in the world. The average of samples tested reported Nd2O3 + Pr6O11 oxide accounting for 54% of TREO. Values as high as 57% were recorded in individual samples.
The company said that the results show an average beneficiation Nd2O3 upgrade factor of 28 times from the calculated head grade, equivalent to a concentrate grade of 19% TREO. Upgrade factors up to 50 times the calculated head grade, producing a concentrate grade up to 29% TREO were reported in many samples.
Ore sorting variability test work
The company said that the ore sorting variability test results indicated that the head grade of Simon’s Find can be upgraded from an average grade of 0.58% to 0.84% TREO, an increase of 45%.
HAS said that Simon’s Find samples that were ore sorted, upgraded faster in flotation with superior TREO recoveries when compared to the unsorted feedstock.
High level of niobium
The company said that Simon’s Find also contains a relatively high level of niobium, mostly in the mineral columbite. Up to 57% of Simon Find’s TREO is neodymium and praseodymium (Nd2O3 + Pr6O11) – a ratio unrivalled for any known rare earths deposit worldwide.
HAS said that deportment of niobium throughout the process flowsheet is still being assessed.
The company said that numerous targets exist for expansion of the current JORC Mineral Resources within the Yangibana Project, as extensions to defined deposits, new targets identified from the Company’s various remote sensing surveys, and conceptual as yet untested targets at depth.
HAS said that the results are being fed into the Yangibana Project updated Ore Reserves estimate, for which a maiden ore reserve estimate will be defined for Simon’s Find.
“Simon’s Find is delivering stand-out results that are remarkable given the low head grade of the deposit”
Hastings Technology Metals’ Chief Operating Officer Andrew Reid said: “The metallurgical test work carried out at Simon Find’s underscores the potential that we have at Yangibana. These latest results continue to give us confidence in the multiple pathways we have to achieving high process recoveries and concentrate grades from the Yangibana project.
Simon’s Find is delivering stand-out results that are remarkable given the low head grade of the deposit. Further test work will enable us to optimise the various aspects of our metallurgical program in terms of capital, operating costs, recoveries and operability. Simon’s Find further highlights Yangibana’s potential to become a source rich in NdPr.”
Image Source: Hastings Technology Metals Ltd