THE DRILL SERGEANT: Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) reported positive results from preliminary metallurgical testwork carried out on sulphide mineralisation from the company’s Oposura project, located in the northern Mexican state of Sonora.
Azure Minerals explained the metallurgical testwork is being undertaken in parallel with an accelerated resource drill-out program for Oposura, where the company currently has three diamond rigs operating with the aim of delivering a maiden mineral resource estimate in March-April 2018.
Azure completed a series of flotation tests on a composite sample comprising sulphide mineralisation and waste rock taken from historical underground workings at Oposura.
The head grade of the composite sample was 7.2 per cent zinc, 5.9 per cent lead, 0.2 per cent copper and 43.9 grams per tonne silver, which the company considers to be similar to the grade of the overall mineralised horizon at Oposura.
The final test in this program comprised a full dual circuit lead-silver and zinc flotation test, replicating a typical dual circuit flotation plant utilised to treat lead, zinc and silver ores in order to produce separate lead-silver and zinc sulphide concentrates.
The results of the last test in the series for a lead-silver concentrate, demonstrated that a lead concentrate grade of between 53 per cent and 58 per cent could be achieved at lead recoveries respectively of between 82 per cent and 78 per cent.
The silver grade in the lead concentrate varied between 330g/t silver and 360g/t silver.
The test showed a zinc concentrate grade of between 52 per cent and 60 per cent could be achieved at zinc recoveries respectively of between 71 per cent and 68 per cent.
The company declared these to be very encouraging results for a preliminary testwork program.
“Metallurgical factors are always critical when evaluating project viability, and the earlier that this is achieved, the better,” Azure Minerals managing director Tony Rovira said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“This high-level study was undertaken to ensure that the zinc, lead and silver mineralisation at Oposura could be extracted and concentrated into an easily saleable product.
“These very favourable results allow us to continue progressing development studies with confidence.”