Paramount Gold & Silver Corp. has announced that its first phase of metallurgical testing on the waste dumps at its 100%-owned Sleeper Gold Project in Nevada has been completed and the results confirm average recoveries of 70% of the contained gold and 34% of the silver, as reported earlier.
"This data clearly supports the potential for economic gold recoveries from the Sleeper waste dumps," said Christopher Crupi, Paramount`s CEO.
Paramount announced earlier this year better than expected sonic drilling results from the waste dumps located at the historic Sleeper Mine. The weighted average gold grade from the drilling program was 0.27 g/T while the silver grade averaged 2.78 g/T. Paramount then initiated bottle roll tests on eight relatively coarse-sized composite samples taken from the nine drill holes (80% of the material was less than 3/4 of an inch in size). These tests were designed and conducted by McClelland Laboratories in Reno, Nevada to emulate heap leach extraction. Gold recoveries were very encouraging, ranging from 49% to 89%, with an average of 70% for a 96 hour test period. Relatively low lime and cyanide consumption were also observed which increases the potential for economic recovery.
Given these very positives results, Paramount has:
- commenced large diameter (6 inch by 10 foot high) column leach tests on similarly-sized material (80% passing 3/4") from sonic drill samples for a 60 day leach cycle at the McClelland Lab.
- initiated a reverse circulation drilling campaign of approximately 60 holes on the three waste dumps to better establish grade and volume in order to qualify them as NI 43-101 compliant resources for inclusion in the ongoing Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) scheduled for completion in early 2012 by Tetra Tech, a leading international mining consulting firm.
Mr. Crupi noted that the operations reports from Amax Gold, the Sleeper Mine`s original operator state that about 66 million tonnes of waste rock were extracted during mining of which an estimated 54 million tonnes were placed on the three dumps. "If further drilling confirms our preliminary grade estimate of 0.27 grams of gold per tonne, the waste dumps could make a significant contribution to gold resources and overall project economics."
Paramount recently updated its in situ Sleeper Gold Project resource estimate, reporting a measured and indicated resource of 2.6 million ounces of gold and 25.3 million ounces of silver and an inferred resource of 1.1 million ounces of gold and 8.2 million ounces of silver. New, recently-announced drill results are expected to increase the size and confidence of this resource estimate, in addition to any contribution which may come from the waste dumps.
The Sleeper Gold Project is located off a main highway about 25 miles from the town of Winnemucca, Nevada. Acquired by Paramount in 2010, the 49.6 square mile project area includes the original Sleeper high-grade open pit mine operated by Amax Gold from 1986 to 1996 as well as newly purchased claims stretching south down trend to Newmont`s Sandman project.
The current work program at Sleeper is part of Paramount's strategy of expanding and upgrading known, large-scale precious metal occurrences in established mining camps, defining their economic potential and then partnering them with nearby producers. As a former gold producer, Sleeper is ideally located near the infrastructure required for early, cost-effective exploitation.
Exploration activities at Sleeper are being conducted by Paramount under the supervision of Glen van Treek, Exploration Vice President of the Company and Bill Threlkeld, a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, who have both reviewed and approved this press release. An ongoing quality control/quality assurance protocol is being employed during the program including blank, duplicate and reference standards in every batch of assays. Samples are being assayed at ALS Chemex, Reno, Nevada using fire assay atomic absorption methods for gold, and aqua regia digestion ICP methods at ALS Chemex Vancouver Canada for other elements.
Paramount also owns 100% of the San Miguel Project which consists of 188,000 hectares (465,000 acres) in the Palmarejo District of northwest Mexico, making Paramount the largest claim holder in this rapidly growing precious metals mining camp. Drilling continues at San Miguel with the aim of upgrading and expanding its multi-million ounce gold and silver resource in the coming months to be followed by completion of a PEA in 2012.