Sabina Gold & Silver Corp is pleased to announce positive preliminary metallurgical optimization test results on its 100%-owned Back River gold project in Nunavut, Canada.
After release of the Back River Initial Project Feasibility Study in September of last year, Sabina has identified several metallurgical optimization opportunities that could have a positive economic impact on the Back River project. The two opportunities with the greatest potential impact are coarser grinding as part of the CIP circuit contemplated in the feasibility study, and revisiting flotation with the addition of regrinding concentrates to 50 micron before leaching.
Sabina has completed the initial scoping test work for the flotation and grinding of concentrates followed by leaching with very encouraging preliminary results.
"These results are the first of many optimization studies underway on the Project," said Bruce McLeod, President & CEO "These test results continue to demonstrate the optionality of Back River. This work could not only positively impact the economics of the initial production scenario, but could also generate compelling alternatives for future satellite production, at George for example. We are very encouraged and look forward to continuing work on the flow sheet."
Four representative composites were created, one for each of the Llama, Goose, Umwelt open pit and Umwelt underground deposits. The results from this first round of test work showed promising results. Recoveries for three of four composites (Umwelt open pit, Umwelt underground and Llama, representing approximately 71% of the reserves in the feasibility study) showed a potential increase in gold recoveries of approximately 2-3%. The Goose composite showed a potential reduction of approximately 3-4% in gold recovery. If further studies support the preliminary test work, this could result in an overall increase of 25,000 ounces of gold produced over the current life of mine.
Initial desktop studies have also indicated that changing to a flotation circuit could have positive impacts on both CAPEX and OPEX. Operating costs would largely be impacted by a potential reduction in installed power, and a reduction in reagent consumption. Additional benefits could include a reduction in GHG emissions due to reduced power and transportation requirements.
A flotation optimization test work program to further define the impacts to the project has been initiated.