- Phase 2 of the metallurgical test work on the 4.7Moz Korbel Main gold prospect has yielded significant results.
- The ongoing scoping study will highlight the processes to further optimise the open pit mining on Korbel Main.
- Nova has planned a drilling campaign on the RPM prospect and maiden resource estimate is likely to follow soon.
- Korbel Main and RPM represent a small fraction of the Estelle Project, which remains sparsely explored and has significant potential to extend mineralisation.
Alaska-focused gold explorer Nova Minerals (ASX:NVA, OTCQB:NVAAF, FSE:QM3) has shared an important update on its Estelle Project with the market. The test results of phase 2 metallurgical test work have yielded encouraging results from the bulk tonnage Korbel Main deposit.
Image of Korbel Main and satellite targets (Image source: Company update, 29 April 2021)
“The combination of ore sorting and highly encouraging metallurgical results from Korbel Main mean that we can now press ahead to fast track our approach to production as previously stated on the Korbel Main prospect alone, which will possibly underpin a significant new long-life multidecade, district scale gold operation in Alaska” commented CEO Christopher Gerteisen
Adding “We will keep the market updated on results of these programs as we progress. We currently have 4.7Moz at the Korbel Main deposit, and we are just getting started.”
The flotation testwork was conducted at the Bureau Veritas’s Vancouver test facility. The test samples returned an encouraging result of 95.4% of gold recovery with a 5.1% concentration of the flotation feed mass. The engineers and technicians involved in the ongoing scoping study are engaged in designing an extraction process for 1/20th of the mass.
The results show that fine grinding and intensive leaching of small flotation concentrate is possible at a reasonable cost.
Process flowsheet (Image source: Company update, 5 May 2021)
The leaching tests achieved a recovery of 92.5% when the flotation concentrate was ground to 22-micron size and was leached for 24 hours. Finer grind size and increasing the duration of leaching may result in better recovery. The leaching test was also conducted at the same testing facility.
Ore sorting results
Ore Sorting was conducted by TOMRA in Castle Hill, Sydney. Nova collected the samples from holes KBDH-005 and KBDH-025, which are located at the South-East extension of Korbe Main. The holes were drilled in 2020, and further drilling is planned in the vicinity of the holes in 2021.
The samples from the holes were tested by TOMRA in 4 stages using specialised equipment. The main product and the waste from the test were sampled and sent for Fire Assay to the Adelaide lab of Bureau Veritas.
The main objective of the Ore Sorting test was to scan the material after each stage and look for higher-density Arsenopyrite material. By the end of the fourth stage, XRT sorter picked almost all the Arsenopyrite mineralisation present in the samples. The final waste grading was received as 0.12g/t Au.
Sorting results (Data source: Company update, 5 May 2021)
TOMRA XRT Ore Sorter (Image source: Company update, 5 May 2021)
Nova is trading at A$0.145 at 3 PM (AEST) with a market cap of A$242.14 million as of 5 May 2021. The Company has yielded an impressive return of 190% in the last one year to its shareholders.