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Mwana Africa (LON:MWA) has unveiled some highly encouraging metallurgical results from its Zani-Kodo gold project in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The results revealed the ore is the easier to process non-refractory variety with greater than 90% recovery from the various methods used to liberate the precious metal.
These included traditional carbon in leach processing, gravity and leach, normal flotation and leach, flash leach and gravity, flotation on gravity tails and leach on concentrate tails.
The results varied from 96% recovery carbon in leach to 91% for flash flotation and leach.
Mwana chief executive Kalaa Mpinga said: "These metallurgical results are very encouraging, with excellent gold recoveries demonstrated across conventional processing options.
“The results show that there are a number of low cost and robust routes available to us that can be incorporated into our ongoing feasibility studies at Zani-Kodo.”
The study was managed by SENET, South Africa, with the test work performed by Ammtec in Australia.
Shares in the group were 4% higher at 3.99 pence, valuing the group at £45mln. However broker Peel Hunt believes Mwana, which also owns assets in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Angola, is worth 9 pence a share.
“This morning's announcement is a significant step forward in the advancement of the Zani-Kodo project in the DRC,” said analyst Maurice Mason in a note to clients.
“The positive metallurgical studies confirm that the Kodo Main ore body is non-refractory.
“This is an important milestone at Kodo Main which may have a read-across to the other targets at Zani-Kodo.”
Last month the rapidly developing pan-African resources group reported a 30% increase in its gold resource at the Zani Kodo joint venture in the DRC to 2.6mln ounces at a 0.5 grams per tonne cut-off.
Away from exploration, the company is already producing old from its Freda Rebecca mine in Zimbabwe – at the rate of just over 12,500 ounces in the three months March 31.
Overall, gold production from the mine for the 12 months to that date was 65,350 ounces - a 37% increase on the comparable period last year.
Pilot plant construction is also underway to evaluate the economic potential of the Freda Rebecca tailings, with commissioning expected to be completed in the September quarter this year.
At the Trojan Mine in Zimbabwe, owned by Bindura Nickel Corp, in which the firm holds 52.9%, the refurbishment programme has been completed with first shipment of nickel concentrate to Glencore slated to take place by the end of April.
The total JORC compliant nickel resource for the mine is now 114,952 tonnes of nickel - a 152% increase from previously.