Metallurgical test work turn’s Apollo’s Kroussou lead-zinc project into a world-leader
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Apollo has put even more of a shine on its province-scale Kroussou lead-zinc project in Gabon after metallurgical test work achieved exceptionally high recoveries.
The flotation test work by Independent Metallurgical Operations achieved 93% and 94.4% recoveries of zinc and lead respectively into high-grade concentrates grading 53% of zinc and 70% of lead.
Not only are these recoveries and concentrate grades competitive with current global zinc and lead producers – which is a hugely positive achievement in its own right – the results are further enhanced by them being the result of a simple, well-understood processing flowsheet and excellent metal liberation at a coarse grind size.
This provides strong inputs for future feasibility study outcomes and indicates that any potential development of Kroussou by Apollo Minerals (ASX:AON) is likely to be relatively straightforward.
Additionally, the strong results at this early stage in metallurgical testing raises the potential for further optimisation.
“Confirmation we have identified a simple processing pathway for Kroussou mineralisation with extremely strong recoveries of contained metal into clean saleable zinc and lead concentrates provides further confidence in the world-class development potential of the project,” managing director Neil Inwood said.
“The Kroussou metallurgy results compare favourably with the recoveries and concentrate grades of current zinc and lead producers and are on the upper end of globally accepted benchmarks.
“We are looking forward to defining a JORC compliant Exploration Target for Kroussou which we believe, in combination with excellent metallurgy, the near-surface open-pittable nature of the identified mineralisation and the clear logistical pathway to market, will demonstrate the global significance of Kroussou as a future strategic base metal producer.”
The test work program to define and quantify the characteristics of potential saleable concentrates was carried out on samples taken from diamond drill core which was chosen to be representative of the known geology and to allow for determination of both the zinc and lead flotation characteristics.
This master composite sample had a head grade of 2.06% zinc, 2.61% lead and 0.8 parts per million silver.
Recoveries of 93% zinc and 94.4% lead place Kroussou in the upper band of zinc and lead mines with the company comparing this to MMG’s Dugald River project – 88% zinc and 63% lead recoveries – and Roseberry project – 85% zinc and 80% lead recoveries.
Likewise, the Kroussou zinc and lead concentrates of 53% and 70% respectively are also comparable with concentrates produced at Dugald River (50% and 55%) and Roseberry (54% and 61%).
Apollo is currently analysing data from regional drilling and exploration completed at TP13, TP8 and TP24.
The includes a comprehensive regional airborne electromagnetic survey completed over the entire 80km strike length of the Kroussou permit.
Interpretation work will also focus on identifying potential high-grade structural targets as seen at Niambokamba (TP13) as well as embayment-style targets as seen at Dikaki (TP11).
Recent drilling at TP13 had returned solid near-surface results including 3.5m at 40% zinc-lead from a down-hole depth of 3.5m.
This work will be used to define an JORC-compliant Exploration Target, which along with the associated ranking of the identified prospects, will provide the opportunity to expand future exploration activities at the project.
With the addition of the Keri permit, the company intends to ensure that geological mapping and geochemical sampling is conducted at all 24 TPs identified at Kroussou seeking to identify new zones of mineralisation which justify further drilling activity.
This article was developed in collaboration with Apollo Minerals, 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.