ValOre Initiates Multi-faceted Optimization Testwork at Pedra Branca and Receives Preliminary Platsol™ Metallurgical Recoveries of 93.4% for Palladium and 95.3% for Platinum
November 2, 2020
Vancouver, B.C. ValOre Metals Corp. (“ValOre”; the “Company”; TSX‐V: VO; OTC: KVLQF; Frankfurt: KEQ0) today announced metallurgical results for two preliminary Platsol™ tests, and the initiation of multiple optimization studies for ValOre’s 100%-owned Pedra Branca Platinum Group Element (“PGE”) Project in northeastern Brazil.
“The pace of success at Pedra Branca has increased dramatically in the last three months, including today’s release of PGE metallurgical recovery rates of in excess of 93% for palladium and 95% for platinum using the Platsol™ process,” stated ValOre’s Chairman and CEO, Jim Paterson. “Together with an aggressive property-wide exploration program, we are now focused on rapidly optimizing the conditions, procedures and processes to further maximize the upside potential of the Pedra Branca project.”
Highlights from Platsol™ Tests and Optimization Studies at Pedra Branca
- Sample material for the Platsol™ tests was collected from outcrops at the Trapia and Curiu deposits areas at Pedra Branca;
- Platsol™ metallurgical test recoveries of 93.4 to 93.6% for palladium (“Pd”) and 95.3 to 95.7% for platinum (“Pt”) were achieved in two tests conducted at SGS Lakefield, Ontario (“SGS”);
- Two additional Platsol™ tests will now be performed by SGS to determine the effects of adding elemental sulphur to the autoclave to optimize conditions required for PGE and gold (Au) recoveries;
- A comprehensive mineralogical evaluation is on-going at SGS to characterize the speciation of palladium and platinum in Pedra Branca mineralization to guide future process optimization initiatives;
- Falcon Ultra-Fine (“UF”) gravity separation testwork continues as a potential preconcentration circuit to upgrade feed material and improve mass pull;
- Hot cyanide leach testwork has been initiated to assess the recovery rates of palladium, platinum and gold in a cyanide leaching process;
- STEINERT sensor-based ore sorting testwork will commence shortly with the shipment of 100 representative chip samples from historic drilling at the Esbarro deposit.
Platsol™ Metallurgical Testwork
Metallurgical recovery results from two Platsol™ leach tests show recovery rates of 93.4 to 93.6% for Pd and 95.3 to 95.7% for Pt. Samples tested were collected from outcrops at two of the five NI 43-101 defined 2PGE+Au deposits areas, namely Trapia (219,000oz at 1.19 g 2PGE+Au/t) and Curiu (100,000oz at 1.93 g 2PGE+Au/t). See Table 1 below for a summary of results and Table 2 below for sample descriptions.
Table 1: Summary of Preliminary Results of Platsol™ Testwork
|Test||Final PLS, mg/L||Final Residue, g/t||% Recovered||Head Grades, g/t|
|Pt||Pd||Pt||Pd||Rh||Au||Pt||Pd||* Rh||* Au||Pt||Pd||Rh||Au|
* Au and Rh extractions are estimated by comparing assayed residue grades to assayed head grades.
Table 2: Summary of Platsol™ Sample Material
|Sample Type||Source||Weight Received||Pd (g/t)||Pt (g/t)||Rh (g/t)||Au (g/t)||3PGE+Au (g/t)|
|Outcrop||Trapia West Deposit (NI 43-101)||20-25 kg||21.6||17.0||0.25||0.83||39.6|
Baseline test conditions for the two Platsol™ leach tests were evaluated at the following settings:
- Temperature: 230◦C
- Oxygen pressure: 700 kPa
- Residence time: 120 minutes
- Concentrate regrind (as received, fine grind)
- Chloride addition: 25 g/L
Sampling and assaying of the autoclave test products included the below analytes, enabling the production of a complete metallurgical balance, indicating precious and base metals recoveries, weight loss and reagent additions.
- Solids sampled and assayed: Pt, Pd, Rh, Cu, Ni, WRA (whole-rock analysis)
- Solutions sampled and assayed: Pt, Pd, Rh, Cu, Ni, Fe, full ICP scan, Fe2+, ORP and Free Acid
The very encouraging recoveries obtained for Pd (93.4 to 93.6%) and Pt (95.3 to 95.7%) are an important benchmark in the metallurgical advancement of the Pedra Branca project. Efforts are now focused on processes to optimize the metallurgical conditions required for Platsol™ 2PGE+Au recovery, including: upgrading feed material by gravity concentration, upgrading feed by sensor-based ore sorting, and a controlled addition of elemental sulphur to Platsol™ autoclave to reduce sulphuric acid (H2SO4) consumption. Hot cyanidation testwork has also commenced to test the leachability of palladium, platinum and gold.
Platsol™ is a high temperature (>200°C) pressure leaching process designed to recover PGEs, gold and base metals. Platsol™ has been shown to be particularly effective with PGE ore feeds characterized by high concentrations of chromium and low concentrations of sulphide, much like Pedra Branca. The PGEs and gold are solubilized as chlorocomplexes by the addition of chloride salt to the autoclave, while base metal sulphides (“BMS”) are oxidized to form soluble metal sulphate complexes. The precious metals can be recovered directly form the autoclave discharge slurry by carbon absorption, or by precipitation with sulphide ions. Platsol™ consists of standard, proven traditional technologies that are in use in mines around the world.
Further information about PLATSOL™ can be found in the link below:
STEINERT Ore Sorting
Optimizing metallurgical conditions and performance in PLATSOL™ may be achieved by precursory sensory-based ore sorting. This could serve to effectively upgrade the feed material (grade) by either concentrating PGE-hosting minerals (i.e. chromite grains) and/or separating out gangue minerals which adversely affect PLATSOL™ (i.e. olivine cumulates). As such, ValOre has engaged STEINERT Latinoamericana in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, an experienced international group that specializes in sensor-based ore sorting technologies, to initiate an initial round of testwork.
ValOre geologists have sampled, photographed and mineralogically characterized 100 historical drill core samples representative of feed material lithologies from the Esbarro 2PGE+Au deposit (NI 43-101 resource of 394,000oz at 1.23 g 2PGE+Au/t). These core samples have been shipped to STEINERT Latinoamericana with the expected commencement of sensory-based characterization and ore sorting testwork in two weeks, with preliminary results anticipated within one month.
Further information about STEINERT Ore Sorting can be found in the link below:
Falcon UF Gravity Separation
Previous mineralogical studies at Pedra Branca suggest a very fine nature to the PGE minerals (<9 micrometer (“μm”)) and thus multiple rounds of testwork have been initiated to assess the potential to upgrade feed material by means of a fine grind (-20 to -30 μm) followed by gravity separation using the Falcon UF Gravity Concentrator. The primary objective is to scavenge ultra-fine mineral particles that are typically rejected from conventional processing circuits as slimes.
Further information about Falcon UF gravity separation can be found in the link below:
PGE Cyanidation Testwork
Palladium and platinum are readily soluble in a cyanide leach solution under the right metallurgical conditions. To assess the potential amenability of hot cyanide leaching as means to recover PGEs at Pedra Branca, SGS has initiated testwork on the same samples used in the PLATSOL™ tests reported in this release, as well as tailings material collected from the first Falcon UF Gravity Concentrator test.
The hot cyanide leach testwork is on-going, with results expected in 2 weeks.
Further information about cyanide leaching can be found in the link below:
About SGS Lakefield, Ontario
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 89,000 employees, SGS operates a network of more than 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.
SGS fit-for-purpose solutions encompass the skills of qualified geologists, geostatistician, analytical chemists, mineralogists, metallurgists, process engineers and mining engineers brought together to provide accurate and timely mineral and process evaluation services across the entire mining life cycle.
The SGS laboratory in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada operates with ISO/IEC 17025 Scopes of Accreditations. For a full list of our scope of accredited testing, please visit https://www.scc.ca/en/search/laboratories.
Qualified Person (QP)
The technical information in this news release has been prepared in accordance with Canadian regulatory requirements set out in NI 43-101 and reviewed and approved by Colin Smith, P.Geo., ValOre’s QP, who oversees New Project Review for ValOre.
About ValOre Metals Corp.
ValOre Metals Corp. (TSX‐V: VO) is a Canadian company with a portfolio of high‐quality exploration projects. ValOre’s team aims to deploy capital and knowledge on projects which benefit from substantial prior investment by previous owners, existence of high-value mineralization on a large scale, and the possibility of adding tangible value through exploration, process improvement, and innovation.
In May 2019, ValOre announced the acquisition of the Pedra Branca Platinum Group Elements (PGE) property, in Brazil, to bolster its existing Angilak uranium, Genesis/Hatchet uranium and Baffin gold projects in Canada.
The Pedra Branca PGE Project comprises 38 exploration licenses covering a total area of 38,940 hectares (96,223 acres) in northeastern Brazil. At Pedra Branca, 5 distinct PGE+Au deposit areas host, in aggregate, a NI 43-101 Inferred Resource of 1,067,000 ounces 2PGE+ Au contained in 27.2 million tonnes grading 1.22 g/t 2PGE+Au (see ValOre’s July 23, 2019 news release). PGE mineralization outcrops at surface and all of the currently known inferred resources are potentially open pittable.
Comprehensive exploration programs have demonstrated the "District Scale" potential of ValOre’s Angilak Property in Nunavut Territory, Canada that hosts the Lac 50 Trend having a NI 43‐101 Inferred Resource of 2,831,000 tonnes grading 0.69% U3O8, totaling 43.3 million pounds U3O8. For disclosure related to the inferred resource for the Lac 50 Trend uranium deposits, please refer to ValOre's news release of March 1, 2013.
ValOre’s team has forged strong relationships with sophisticated resource sector investors and partner Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) on both the Angilak and Baffin Gold Properties. ValOre was the first company to sign a comprehensive agreement to explore for uranium on Inuit Owned Lands in Nunavut Territory and is committed to building shareholder value while adhering to high levels of environmental and safety standards and proactive local community engagement.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
James R. Paterson, Chairman and CEO
ValOre Metals Corp.
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