Sometimes all you need is a bit of polish to reveal high grade nickel, and that’s exactly what Golden Mile Resources have done with Stage 3 metallurgical testwork at Quicksilver.

Nickel upgrades of 111% and 226% were achieved from low energy scrubbing and screening tests, with assays of mica concentrate at 2-3% nickel demonstrating the potential for further concentration.

Golden Mile Resources (ASX:G88) collected samples from eight PQ diamond holes for Stage 3 testwork where drilling intersected the highest-grade nickel at the project to-date.

This included a “spectacular” intersection of hole 23QDD008 showing 49m at 1.74% Ni and 0.071% Co from 30m that included 28m at 2.34% Ni and 0.109% Co from 32m depth, with intercepts up to a staggering 4.14% Ni and 0.421% Co.

The Quicksilver project is an oxide clay hosted nickel-cobalt deposit with a current indicated and inferred resource of 23.6Mt @ 0.64% nickel and 0.043% cobalt for a contained 168,500t of nickel and 11,300t of cobalt, with some rare earths and scandium to boot.


Metallurgical scrubbing and screening

The eight diamond core composite samples which are considered indicative of the range of nickel mineralisation already identified at Quicksilver underwent drum scrubbing, screening and fine sizing below 38 micron and treated by low intensity magnetic separation (LIMS).

This resulted in nickel recoveries of 73-92% and nickel upgrades ranging from 111%-226% from seven out of the eight treated samples.

G88 says the high presence of mica in the samples that contain high nickel grades is “driving work fronts ahead to further validate the nickel association, better understand the distribution of mica in the resource and develop processes to upgrade mica.”

“Potential for separating a magnetic concentrate of ~50% Fe, 10% Cr and 0.7% Ni has been demonstrated and has a positive effect on upgrading nickel in the non-magnetic stream,” the company says.

“This type of concentrate has potential for many uses including as an input to stainless steel production.”

Further testwork aimed at generating and characterising mica concentrates and specific cobalt rich stream upgrades have been incorporated into the forward works program, with a priority on the critical nickel and cobalt beneficiation testwork.

G88 MD Damon Dormer says the Stage 3 metallurgy outcome is a huge verification of previous results and has “demonstrated the value of obtaining the highest quality of samples for this testwork”.

“The scrubbing and screening results are extremely encouraging with the level of upgrading achieved and could result in a reduction to the size and associated costs of a beneficiation circuit,” Dormer says.

“The high-grade nickel association with the mica has been a great discovery which opens up further processing opportunities with isolating this product.

“We will conduct further testwork to better understand why the nickel is associated with the mica without impacting our overall project timelines.”



This article was developed in collaboration with Golden Mile Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.