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Minera Alamos says heap-leach testing at Santana suggests a "robust commercial" gold project

An initial phase used coarse crushing only and was followed by a second, which involved fine crushing, Minera said
Picture of mining project
Pictured is the Santana gold project in Mexico

Minera Alamos Inc (CVE:MAI) reported continued positive results from bulk heap-leach testing at its Santana gold project in Mexico, which show the operation could be a commercial success.

The firm is eyeing Santana as its first commercial mining operation.

READ: Minera Alamos set to kick off phase one drill programme for Verdes/Santana gold project in Mexico next month

Over the last year, subsidiary Corex Gold has been carrying out the testing.

An initial phase used coarse crushing only and was followed by a second, which involved fine crushing and agglomeration of the same mineralised material prior to leaching. 

Gold recoveries from the second phase were excellent and consistent with those from the first phase, Minera said in a regulatory filing.

Around 5,860g (or around 190 ounces) of gold were recovered from a total of 9,000 tonnes of material over three months, or 0.65 g/t (grams per ton) of recovered gold.  

"While the use of fine crushing/agglomeration appears to improve the gold leach kinetics, ultimate recoveries remained similar to those achieved leaching coarse material."

"The results from the bulk heap leach testing program over the past year have been extremely positive," said Darren Koningen, the chief executive of Minera Alamos.

"The operation of the Santana test leaching facilities provides for a significant de-risking of the project by comparing laboratory scale metallurgical results to those achieved at a bulk scale under conditions like those envisioned for commercial operations.

"To date, the company has tested approximately 35,000 tonnes of mineralized material with ultimate gold recoveries exceeding expectations and appearing to be consistent over the range of crush sizes tested.

"This creates an ideal environment for a robust commercial heap leaching operation at the Santana project site. 

"Once a final data review/optimisation is completed, incorporating results from the upcoming drill program announced earlier this month, the Company expects to target the advancement of Santana as the first commercial mining operation from our portfolio of advanced stage gold projects."

Minera Alamos has a portfolio of high-grade Mexican projects, including the La Fortuna open pit gold project in Durango and the Guadalupe de los Reyes gold/silver project in Sinaloa, as well as the now combined Santana/Los Verdes gold-copper project in Sonora.

Shares in Toronto were unchanged at C$0.12.

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