Hot on the heels of Nova Minerals’ news about more bonanza gold hits from its RPM North project in Alaska, the Aussie miner has now announced high grade recoveries from metallurgical testing.

This prized combination of high-grade gold with outstanding recoveries now lays a solid foundation for improved economics in Nova’s (ASX:NVA) upcoming Phase 2 Scoping Study.

The results from tests to determine the potential for intensive leach of gold contained in flotation concentrate were 96.2% of gold recovered – an excellent result any yellow metal miner would welcome.

What’s more encouraging is that the test work, completed at Bureau Veritas Vancouver, was done on composite samples of just 1.34 grams per tonne of gold (g/t).

RPM North is part of the flagship Estelle Gold Project in Alaska’s Tintina Gold Belt, one of the richest gold belts in the world.

The Estelle Gold Project. Image: Supplied.


The test work results follow more bonanza drill results from the deposit announced on Monday and these came from the same drill hole that yielded grades of up to 1,330g/t and visible gold in late June.

Nova has so far defined the large Korbel and RPM deposits along the 35km corridor in the Tintina gold province. In between those two deposits Nova has identified another 19 prospects.


Estelle only gets better

“The new metallurgical test work from the RPM Deposit at Estelle continues to demonstrate encouraging gold recoveries on the high-grade deposit using composite samples of only 1.34 g/t,” Nova CEO Christopher Gerteisen said.

“These results from RPM are a significant improvement on the positive results already achieved from the Korbel Deposit and harmonized with the existing flowsheet.

“The consistently low tail grades achieved in test work at RPM will be carried through into the project studies and evaluations.

“Metallurgical test work continues to provide confidence with improved high recovery expect achieve capital and operating expenditure (CAPEX and OPEX) savings in fine grinding and leaching circuits.”

A simplified RPM process flow sheet. Image: Supplied.


“The Phase 2 Scoping Study is a further snapshot in time and further test work and trade off studies will optimize capital, operating costs, recoveries and operability to enable the Company to select the optimum route for the project,” Gerteisen continued.

“The aim is to create the most value for the company and shareholders, and demonstrate the highest Net Present Value (NPV) in the Prefeasibility Study (PFS), with ABH Engineering and Whittle Consulting working in tandem to find the optimum.”

Meanwhile ongoing infill and step-out drilling is continuing to prove up the +2g/t material in the existing 1.5Mozs at 2.0g/t Inferred resource to the higher confidence Indicated category. The results will be incorporated into the Phase 2 Scoping Study to be completed in the near term.

With an already indicated and inferred resource of 9.6Moz, the Estelle Gold Trend is on track for more ounces to be added this year.

This places it in the league of +10Moz explorers in Alaska, while outsizing projects such as De Grey Mining’s (ASX:DEG) Hemi deposit in WA.


This article was developed in collaboration with Nova 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.