Ore sorting, flotation boost Corazon’s bulk nickel mining plan at Lynn Lake
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Innovative processing tech could reduce costs and increase reserves as Corazon Mining considers a bulk mining open pit operation at its flagship Lynn Lake project in Manitoba, Canada.
According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence nickel prices will increase over the next few years “as the market goes into deficit on the back of surging demand for nickel along with the rise in the production of EV batteries”.
Good timing for Corazon Mining (ASX:CZN), which is using processing innovation as a key component of its strategy to revive Lynn Lake as a long-life, low-cost, nickel sulphide mining operation.
Lynn Lake was a prolific historical nickel-copper-cobalt production centre that produced 206,200t of nickel and 107,600t over 24 years before its closure in 1976.
It hosts a resource of 16.3Mt for 116,800t nickel, 54,300t copper, and 5,300t cobalt, with another resource update currently in progress.
With advances in mining technology, Corazon believes it can economically restart the project.
Bulk mining at Lynn Lake could potentially substantially reduce mining costs, but also result in a lower overall feed grade.
To combat this, Corazon is looking to upgrade the feed grade by removing ‘waste’ material via ore sorting and coarse flotation, both of which may easily be integrated with conventional flotation processing plants.
The testwork showed ore sorting could reject 87% of the tonnes as waste, boosting a 0.36% nickel feed grade to 0.87%. Coarse floatation testing showed similarly good results.
This would allow the company to mine at a lower cut-off grade, which would increase the amount of metal produced at the other end.
“The impact of considering mining at lower-grade cut-offs is most obvious when looking at the current MRE,” CZN says.
“Reducing the cut-off grade from 0.5% Ni to 0.4% Ni identifies a 70% increase in tonnage and a 44% increase in contained nickel metal.”
Based on the positive outcomes of this testwork, both ore sorting and coarse flotation will be considered for use at Lynn Lake and for scoping study work currently underway.
Additional testwork required is currently being reviewed, says Corazon, and assessment timelines are “likely dependent on the amount of metallurgical sample the company has at its disposal”.
“In consideration of the metallurgical testwork results and the analysis of the resource grade domains, changes to Lynn Lakes JORC resource estimates are in progress.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Corazon 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.