Panther Metals (ASX:PNT) has achieved final nickel extraction at 92.6% and cobalt extraction at 73.9% following an initial first round of high pressure acid leach (HPAL) testing at its Coglia Nickel-Cobalt Project in Western Australia.
The company says feed for the testwork was based on a blended sample obtained from 6 drillholes from a maiden drilling program conducted across strike of the current resource area and from varying horizons of mineralised material, with the majority of the contained material being less than -38μm in size.
Panther adds that higher-grade nickel resides in ultra-fine fractions, indicating beneficiation may negate the requirement for milling. The company notes beneficiation may also upgrade the feed.
The initial round of HPAL testing was completed by ALS Global Laboratories on the back of completing its first 6,000m reverse circulation (RC) program at the project, which resulted in the definition of a maiden inferred Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE).
Commenting on the results, Panther Metals Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director Daniel Tuffin says: “This initial round of HPAL testing from the Coglia Nickel-Cobalt Project has returned fantastic results. With a final recovery of 92.6% nickel, these results confirm that the laterite nickel mineralisation at Coglia falls within the industry-accepted processing recovery range, with ALS Laboratories confirming that ‘…90-95% recovery is generally what you’d expect from HPAL of laterites’.
“With a final recovery of 92.6% nickel, these results confirm that the laterite nickel mineralisation at Coglia falls within the industry-accepted processing recovery range…”
Additionally, most of the higher nickel grades are in the finer size fractions, which with further study may prove that beneficiation processes such as scrubbing, cyclones and/or screening could potentially remove the need for milling. The company is awaiting a further report from ALS and will also engage independent experts for further review. It will update the market on any further findings once complete.
While the company’s focus for the next phase of exploration at Coglia remains on drilling and expanding the current resource, it will continue to carry out further testing and studies in parallel to support a future Pre-Feasibility Study, including further HPAL bench test work programs.”
The company also notes the HPAL test was run targeting a conservative free acid of 50g/L with a temperature of 250 degrees Celsius, 30% solids, and a 2-hour retention time.
With the initial HPAL test now complete, the company reports further bench testwork is now being planned with ALS to provide detailed data for future mining studies.
Panther Metals is an ASX-listed nickel-cobalt (Ni-Co) and gold (Au) explorer with drill-ready targets across 5 projects in the mining district of Laverton, Western Australia, and 2 in the Northern Territory. The company’s Coglia project is located near the township of Laverton in Western Australia, about 70km east of Glencore’s Murrin Murrin Nickel-Cobalt plant, and is considered highly prospective for nickel-cobalt laterite mineralisation.
Images: Panther Metals Ltd