In a notable development, Pacifico Minerals Limited (ASX: PMY) has advanced well concerning its Optimised Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) on its Sorby Hills Joint Venture Project. The Optimised PFS is expected to enhance the Process Plant throughput by a massive 50% from 1.0Mtpa to 1.5Mtpa, allowing the project life of at least eight years.
Post the significant update, PMY stock soared 25% to $0.005 on 30 April 2020. It has generated a positive return of 33.33% in the past one month.
Following the significant resource update, the Australian Battery Commodity explorer is undertaking the Optimised PFS that is directed at increasing the mining rate as well as processing capacity, which would further de-risk the project with additional testwork.
The resource upgrade in October 2019 resulted in a Global Resource estimate of 36 Mt at 4.9% Pb equivalent (3.7% Pb, 39g/t Ag) and 0.5% Zn sitting just 20 metres beneath the surface and open along strike and down dip.
The company is accessing two options within the Optimised PFS study, which is viewed towards increasing the Process Plant throughput by 50%.
Whole Ore option- The mined ore are directly treated by flotation at 1.5Mtpa
DMS option- Dense Media Separation (‘DMS’) is used to beneficiate low-grade ore, and the upgraded product is blended with high-grade ore for feeding the flotation plant at 1.5Mtpa
Comminution: PMY has performed Comminution tests on four composite samples, including crushing and grinding. It would add to the current data base for process design calculations in the Optimised PFS.
Heavy Liquid Separation: On six fresh and primary ore composites having head grades ranging from 1.0 to 5.4%Pb, PMY carried out HLS beneficiation testwork directed at confirming amenability to beneficiation. HLS testwork results on low-grade samples highlighted a positive response averaging recovery of 79.5% Pb to a sinks + fines product containing 24.5% mass, equating to an upgrade ratio of 3.24.
PMY also obtained good grades from the higher-grade samples. However, it also increases the reject grade, which at this stage is considered too high. The company would further explore the opportunity to incorporate high grade in the DMS process, along with additional testwork in the Definitive Feasibility Study.
Final full-scale DMS performance (corrected for fines content and DMS cyclone efficiency) estimated the mass recovery of 30% with 81% Pb and 73% Ag recoveries, offering the upgrade ratios of 2.7 for Pb and 2.4 for Ag.
Flotation: The new flotation testwork was conducted on four composite samples. Better sample representation was shown by the current recovery estimates, which have improved Pb recovery higher than compensates for the small reduction in Ag recovery. Project’s NPV will be positively affected by the latest testwork, as per the company.
Geology and Resources
Optimised PFS pit optimisation is utilising the October 2019 MRE. In addition to the ongoing refinements to the geological model on MRE, Pacifico has also completed a high-level review of Phase III drilling data’s perceived impact.
The key highlights include:
- Possibility for localised tonnage increases where new drilling expands the current Mineral Resource shapes or fill the current resource model gaps.
- Greater confidence to the Mineral Resource Estimate is added through refined geological models for the updated density dataset and weathering profiles.
- Within the reported Mineral Resource, the company is unlikely to see a material decrease in grade
- Reported global grades might possibly increase or decrease minorly due to the drill hole samples’ re-domaining.
CSA Global is commissioned by PMY to complete a further MRE update, which is anticipated to be finalised during May 2020.
Permitting, Approvals and Hydrogeological Site Investigation Program
The Sorby Hills Joint Venture Project has pre-native title granted mining tenements. The project has also been granted ministerial approval since April 2014. Meanwhile, timeframe for substantial commencement of the Sorby Hills Project has received Ministerial confirmation to be extended for a further five years, to 2 April 2024.
For the Optimised PFS, Pacifico has adopted a conservative approach with its pit optimisations and has excluded alpha and beta deposits which lies outside the EPA approved open pit development zone.
A regional numerical groundwater model is currently being developed.
Optimised PFS Status