Bluebird Merchant Ventures (EPIC: BMV), the Asian focused resource development group, is pleased to announce excellent results relating to initial metallurgical test work conducted on a composite ore sample from Kochang Mine.
- The average grade of the composite sample is almost 5 grams per ton gold and 19 grams per ton silver, confirming the results obtained from the underground programme
- A simple gravity circuit yields gold recoveries of up to 80% with silver recoveries of around 60%.
- Additional test work is in progress
- Potential for a low-cost process is excellent
Metallurgical test work is a critical factor in determining the viability and economics of any mining project as well for the optimisation of ongoing operations. An ore deposit even of high grade may be compromised should the metal or mineral prove difficult or costly to extract.
Metallurgical test work has been conducted at the Mines and Geoscience Bureau (MGB) and Intertek in Manila, Philippines to determine the most appropriate method of gold and silver recovery from the Kochang ore. The work has been conducted under the direction and guidance of Bluebird’s Metallurgical Manager, Peter Wallwin, who has over 40 years of experience of project development.
Samples of Kochang ore were evaluated for inclusion into a composite sample to be used for the initial metallurgical test work programme. Of the 425 samples received, 230 (54%) contained higher than 1 gram per ton gold. The test work sample value validated the sampling results obtained from the underground programme carried out earlier in the year.
Test work using a simple gravity separation system has yielded gold recoveries of around 80% and silver recoveries of around 60%. It is important to note that, whilst a recovery figure of 80% may appear low, the yield is from a much shorter and cheaper process and can be significantly increased should we decide to enhance the metallurgical process with additional standard recovery methods. Further test work is ongoing.
These excellent results from the samples evaluated to date indicate that the ore is not problematic and does not require complicated or expensive extraction techniques and will allow the company to consider low cost options for the design and construction of its process plant.
The programme continues with the focus turning to a leaching process. Once test work is complete, an options analysis will be conducted for incorporation into a report to compare the operating and capital costs, as well as the economics for any given option.
Additional samples will be collected at a later date from other areas of the mine to verify the results obtained from those conducted on the samples to date.
Colin Patterson, CEO, commented:
“Metallurgical test work is critical to ensuring the profitability of a mining operation. The initial test work has demonstrated higher than the industry standard in terms of recovered gold for this simple and inexpensive gravity process. This will certainly improve the economics of production following the reopening of the Kochang mine. As I have consistently said, the economics of reopening an old mine are far less costly than that of new development.”
“Kochang continues to ‘tick the boxes’ in terms of being a mine worth reopening. The completion and evaluation of this test work will enable us to confirm the future of this exciting project.”
THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF ARTICLE 7 OF THE MARKET ABUSE REGULATION EU 596/2014 (“MAR”)