Test work was completed resulting in an improvement in overall recoveries from initial test-work, de-risking metallurgical aspects of the project.
PNX will now move forward with finalising the pre-feasibility study which is on schedule for completion mid-2017.
James Fox, managing director, commented: “We are very pleased to have reached this major milestone in completing the detailed metallurgical optimisation test-work at Hayes Creek. Recoveries to concentrates of the payable metals, in particular zinc, have exceeded our expectations.
“Positive feedback has been received as to the marketability of Hayes Creek concentrates which indicates that they are readily saleable and in demand as high-value products under standard commercial payment terms.”
The results of the overall plant recovery to concentrates were:
- Zinc: 89%;
- Lead: 57%;
- Silver: 77%; and
- Gold: 54%.
The finalisation of this test-work and analysis is an important milestone as it demonstrates that:
- The proposed flotation process plant is capable of recovering significant value from the Hayes Creek Resources through the production of a zinc concentrate and precious metals concentrate;
- The overall payable metals in concentrates based on standard commercial terms are at the upper end of expectations, and have been confirmed as being readily saleable and in demand as high-value products;
- The potential for revenue to be derived from the lead contained in the precious metals concentrates previously not considered in financial modelling also provides additional revenue upside; and
- All deleterious elements are within acceptable concentrations grade recovery curves have been developed for both the zinc and precious metals concentrates indicating the potential for future optimisation of recoveries and/ or grade with gold being a particular focus.
The Mt Bonnie and Iron Blow deposits form part of the Hayes Creek Project and are located less than 3 kilometres apart on granted mineral leases.
An updated JORC Resource was reported for Mt Bonnie in February 2017 and for Iron Blow in May 2017.
Collectively the Hayes Creek Project hosts a total Indicated (84.7%) and Inferred (15.3%) JORC Resources of 4.1 million tonnes containing 177,200 tonnes of zinc, 238,000 ounces of gold, 16.2 million ounces of silver, 37,000 tonnes of lead, and 10,050 tonnes of copper.
The PFS will expand on the scoping study completed in March 2016, which found that mining and processing ore derived from the proposed open-pit and underground operations at Hayes Creek would generate strong financial returns for PNX.
The Hayes Creek Project is located in a favourable mining jurisdiction in the Pine Creek region of Northern Territory, less than two hours by road from Darwin.
The development strategy includes the use of existing infrastructure, designed to boost economics and reduce project risk.