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Alice Queen launches scoping study for Horn Island Gold Project

The study will combine results from phase 1 infill drilling, updated metallurgical test-work, pilot-scale ore sorting test-work and an updated process plant flowsheet.

Alice Queen Ltd - Alice Queen launches scoping study for Horn Island Gold Project
Existing infrastructure on Horn Island in the Torres Strait.

Alice Queen Ltd (ASX:AQX) has started a scoping study at its Horn Island Gold Project in Far North Queensland to assess the potential of the open-pit resource.

This work is aimed at advancing the understanding of the economics of a potential open-pit mining operation encompassing areas outside the excluded area subject to a JV with St Barbara Ltd (ASX:SBM).

The existing open pit JORC 2012-compliant inferred resource of 7.9 million tonnes at 1/9 g/t for 492000 ounces, will be updated as part of this process.

A scoping study will combine results from phase one infill drilling, updated metallurgical test-work results, pilot-scale ore sorting test-work undertaken using TOMRA and an updated process plant flowsheet and design to provide an insight into potential future economics.

“Elated to be launching study”

Alice Queen’s managing director Andrew Buxton said: “We are elated to be launching a scoping study to assess the potential of the Horn Island open pit resource, part of the Excluded Zones, outside of our St Barbara JV, to assess a potential future mining operation.

“It has taken a significant amount of time and effort to reach this stage and we hope it will validate the exploration work to date.”

“Our recently announced interim RC Infill results give us confidence that this will be the case.”

Study manager engaged

The company has engaged Peter Fairfield as study manager to co-ordinate the study team with the intention of releasing the findings in the September quarter of 2021.

Results of the recently completed phase 1 infill RC drilling program, which comprised 35 holes for 7,072 metres, will be incorporated with existing data to seek to release a revised mineral resource estimate to be prepared by Dale Sims of Dale Sims Consulting.

Sims is an independent consulting mining and resource geologist with 35 years of minerals industry experience in gold and base metals deposits.

Existing infrastructure

Buxton said: “It is also timely to remind our shareholders that we start this study with the backdrop of significant existing infrastructure at Horn Island.

“We believe that having the study overseen by Peter Fairfield, with input from GR Engineering Services, TOMRA Ore Sorting and Dale Sims, we will deliver a comprehensive and high-quality report which will significantly advance the project.

“We also look forward to announcing to the market tomorrow our proposed acquisition, the subject of our recent request for a trading halt.”

Pilot study test-work

Last month, TOMRA completed a pilot study test-work program to assess the amenability of the project’s mineralisation to ore sorting techniques.

The pilot study focused on a 2,000-kilogram sample of fresh drill core and a 5,000-kilogram sample of low-grade stockpile material.

These samples are being assayed by ALS in Perth, with results expected to be available in April.

GR Engineering engaged

Alice Queen has engaged GR Engineering Services (ASX:GNG) to progress the metallurgical, processing and infrastructure components of the scoping study.

GR Engineering previously completed a concept study for the project in 2017.

The scoping study will also investigate improving the mined head grade through an improved definition of the mineral resource and possible application of pre-concentration by Dense Media Separation (DMS) and ore sorting techniques.

The Horn Island Project is an extension of open pits previously mined in 1989 and the project benefits from considerable existing infrastructure on the island, which is serviced by existing weekly sea shipping and air services with daily direct flights from Cairns.

The company anticipates that the existing infrastructure will be factors considered in the scoping study.

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