Astro Resources NL (ASX:ARO) has received positive results from bulk heavy minerals testing carried out on samples from its Governor Broome Heavy Mineral Project in the southwest of Western Australia.
The company completed the wet and dry plant test work program on a 2.6-tonne bulk sample from West Deposit and has also completed sighter test-work on a second bulk sample taken from East Deposit.
Heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) was produced in the wet concentrator using conventional mineral sands processing equipment.
High-grade ilmenite and zircon products were produced from HMC using conventional dry plant mineral separation equipment.
Economic viability of project
Astro’s chairman Jacob Khouri said: “The results from the Governor Broome metallurgical test-work continue to demonstrate the strong possibility of the economic viability of the project.
“Particularly pleasing is the recovery of clean, sulphate-grade ilmenite (51% TiO2), chloride-grade ilmenite (61% TiO2) and premium grade zircon (66% ZrO2) products from the heavy mineral concentrate.
“Assessment of the potential products by TZMI concluded that the ilmenite and zircon products compare favourably with competing products, meaning that these products will be readily absorbed by the market.”
The test-work program, designed to assess the metallurgical performance of material sourced from the Governor Broome Deposit, comprised three key stages, the first two of which have now been completed:
- Process development test work on a 2.6-tonne bulk sample from the West Deposit;
- Sighter test-work on the second bulk sample taken from the East Deposit; and
- Mineralogical characterisation of 20 separate Heavy Mineral (HM) concentrates obtained from the drilling of the West, East and South deposits.
This work has been carried out by Allied Mineral Laboratories Pty Ltd under the supervision of TZ Minerals International Pty Ltd (TZMI).
Bulk samples were sourced from the full depth of the modelled HM mineralisation in all aircore holes drilled by Astro into the West and East deposits during early 2020 and as such are representative of the HM mineralisation in each deposit.
TZMI believes the Governor Broome ilmenite products compare favourably with other benchmark ilmenite products while primary zircon is consistent with selected competing premium zircon products in the marketplace.
The company now plans to conduct a scoping study incorporating the results from the metallurgical test-work to demonstrate the mine potential of the Governor Broome Heavy Mineral Project.
Preliminary studies have been superseded by the increase in the project’s indicated resources from 30 million tonnes at 4.9% HM to a total of 52 million tonnes at 4.6% HM.