Venus Metals Corporation, alongside it’s JV partner Rox Resources have tallied some impressive gold recovery rates from metallurgical testwork on its Youanmi Deeps mineralisation near Sandstone in WA. The JV managed to achieve an average extraction rate of 92.2 per cent gold with some ore returning up to 94 per cent recovery following metallurgical testwork.
The JV, trialled a series of treatment methods and decided the Albion process is the preferred treatment to deliver high gold yields with low overall cost.
Several different gold processing options were tested on the Youanmi Deeps ore including cyanide leach, roasting, pressure oxidation and ultrafine grind followed by atmospheric cyanide leaching however the Albion process – which combines ultrafine grinding and oxidative leaching – returned the most compelling results.
The Albion process also offers substantial capital and operating cost benefits in addition to solid recovery rates in comparison to other trialled methods according to Orway Mineral Consultants, which undertook the testwork.
Pressure oxidation testwork, which was undertaken in October, gave up similar recovery figures to that of the Albion process, however much lower reagent consumption rates were achieved leading to reduced operating costs in the Albion system. According to the two companies, the Albion process also boasts lower start-up capital costs based on their current internal estimates.
Further sampling has now been undertaken that will be used in feasibility level testwork studies that are set to kick off in January 2022. The next round of testing plans to evaluate at least five potential mining domains by creating composite samples from approximately 45 individual diamond drill core intervals – essentially mixing different diamond core from certain mine areas to create a representative sample for analysis.
The next phase of testwork aims to optimise the initial Albion testwork in addition to analysing and optimising a suite of other factors including floation grind size and reagent suite optimisation.
Metallurgical testwork comes as the next step following serious resource and reserve growth of Venus’ Youanmi deposit during the 2021 calendar year. Venus has enjoyed a string of recent drilling successes that it says are likely to increase the existing 1.7 million ounce at 2.85g/t gold resource previously reported in June 2021.
Venus plans to update its resource and reserve estimates for the Youanmi project in the first half of 2022. With the plethora of high-grade gold hits amassed over recent months the company says it expects to upgrade current estimates substantially.
The Youanmi gold project is located on a 36 kilometre strike length of the Youanmi Greenstone Belt near the Ramelius owned Mount Magnet gold mine. Rox resources holds 70 per cent and Venus holds the remaining 30 per cent of the near-mine Youanmi gold project joint venture.
In October 2021 (ASX release 6 October 2021) we reported excellent gold extraction results via the POX (Pressure Oxide Leach) process noting a step change increase from historical extraction rates achieved by Gold Mines of Australia in the Deeps Resource. At the time we noted that other oxidation process technologies were still under consideration, and with these more recent results we have demonstrated that the Albion Process achieves very high gold extraction rates (in line with the POX extraction rates) and is likely to be delivered with lower capital and operating costs. We look forward to the next more detailed round of test work which will incorporate larger sample volumes, for which sample collection began last week on site.
With a substantial resource behind it that is likely to receive a substantial upgrade, together with some very encouraging first pass metallurgical gold recovery results, Venus looks poised for a promising year ahead.
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