The age old adage ‘time is money’ could be true for Cyprium Metals (ASX:CYM) after the explorer found that ore from its Hollandaire deposit near Cue, WA, requires a shorter-than-expected leach time to extract copper.

Heap leaching is a low cost processing method where minerals are ‘leached’ from a pile of crushed ore using chemicals.

Short leach times means smaller heap leach pads, which reduces a project’s capital and operating cost requirements even further.

Metallurgical test work using the Cyprium’s unique copper leaching method achieved 91.7 per cent copper extraction in just 21 days, the company says.

Further metallurgical test work will focus on refining the operating parameters and reducing the cost of the process.

Cyprium said it has started a scoping study based on a heap leach operation, as well as planning for the next phase of drilling at the Hollandaire and Hollandaire West deposits.


“Our expectation was that our unique leaching process would have the ability to both accelerate the leach time and produce excess acid on the Hollandaire material,” executive director Barry Cahill said.

“The rapid leach time of the copper, using our unique leaching processes and parameters, has been astounding and outperformed our expectations.

“The additional benefit of the leach reaction being acid producing is that it will generate surplus acid for use where the mineralised material is acid consuming, thus reducing the operating costs of the process.”


In other ASX base metals news today:

Ragnar Metals (ASX:RAG) has completed a geophysical survey that has identified new drill targets below existing drilling at its Tullsta nickel project in Sweden.

The company plans to start field validation over the target zones in May and to kick off drilling of eight holes in two phases during the third quarter of 2020.

Alacer Gold (ASX:AQG) has intersected near-surface porphyry copper-gold mineralisation at the Mavidere, Findiklidere and Aslantepe target areas near its producing mine in Turkey.

Drilling at Mavidere returned a top result of 269.1m at 0.34 per cent copper and 0.55 grams per tonne (g/t) from surface.

At Findiklidere and Aslantepe, drilling notable intersections of 32.1m grading 0.84 per cent copper and 0.37g/t gold from 13.4m and 63.9m at 0.22 per cent copper and 0.45g/t gold from 46.7m respectively.