Building a mining project is not as simple as drilling a resource and digging the stuff out of the ground.

There are a number of other factors that come into play when trying to maximise the value of your treasure, including the metallurgical properties of the mineral enriched rocks once processed.

For Peel Mining (ASX:PEX), its South Cobar project is showing green lights on that front, with the pure copper-bearing rocks at its Wirlong deposit delivering outstanding recoveries of 95% copper to a 32% copper concentrate grade.

That comes after initial met testing in July, which delivered copper recoveries of 96.9% to produce a concentrate grading 27.1% copper.

And the recoveries are not all. Ore sorting testwork has also demonstrated the potential to significantly reduce the amount of waste rock, with ore sorting of Wirlong ore rejecting 35 to 62% of waste rock with low copper losses of under 6%, with ore sorting on rocks from the Mallee Bull mixed metals deposit rejecting 17-41% of waste rock with losses of under 8%.

Peel’s Director of Mining Jim Simpson attributed its fantastic copper recoveries to the lack of impurities in the chalcopyrite host rock at Wirlong.

“The metallurgical results at Wirlong are excellent and as high as one could expect with chalcopyrite dominant mineralisation,” he said.

“This is largely due to the purity of the chalcopyrite, with essentially negligible other sulphide minerals.

“Ore sorting testwork has demonstrated the likely amenability of Wirlong mineralisation to early beneficiation via ore sorting, due to the heterogeneous style of sulphide mineralisation, which is prevalent at Wirlong.

“Mallee Bull has more of a mixed style of sulphide mineralisation, however the ore sorting test work results from there are also highly encouraging.”

More work is set to be undertaken on comminution and baseline flotation and locked cycle testwork on selected composites.

These studies will assess and further optimise the recovery process and final concentrate grade at Mallee Bull and Wirlong, and inform South Cobar’s upcoming concept and feasibility study work.

A resource is being prepared for the promising Wirlong deposit.




This article was developed in collaboration with Peel Mining, 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.