ASX-listed mineral exploration and development company Kasbah Resources has achieved positive results from its second phase ore sorting test work at its Achmmach tin project in Morocco.
Morocco - A two-tonne bulk sample of ore from Kasbah Resources' Achmmach tin project was subjected to a detailed ore sorting programme in February 2018.
This programme has delivered exceptional results which have confirmed the suitability of ore sorting technology for use in the Achmmach process plant and its ability to deliver robust improvement to the project’s economics.
The results of the ore sorting programme and other ongoing test-work will be included in a new Achmmach Definitive Feasibility Study scheduled to be completed in June 2018.
“These outstanding results confirm that ore sorting technology is appropriate to use in the Achmmach process plant and we should see robust project economics as a result," comments Kasbah Resources' CEO Russell Clark.
"The advantages of this technology are considerable – the processing plant can be smaller, reducing capital costs.
"Reagent, power and water use will all reduce, as will tailings production, resulting in a smaller tailings facility being required, again saving costs.
In addition Clark notes that the tin price has strengthened in recent months and is forecast to remain strong in the foreseeable future.
"Our test work is almost complete and we remain on track to produce a new study on the Achmmach project in the first half of this year. It’s an exciting time for the project and Kasbah Resources," he adds.
Phase 2 bulk ore sorting test-work
Phase 2 of the ore sorting test-work involved sorting two tonnes of representative ore through a full size Steinert KSS multi-sensor ore sorting machine in Perth, Western Australia.
The programme involved the measurement of accept/reject rates, as well as recoveries and ore grade improvement through the machine.
The bulk sample comprised drill core spanning the width of known stope shapes along the strike length of the ore body and as such was the most representative sample of planned run of mine ore that is currently available from the Achmmach deposit.
Prior to the test-work being undertaken the ore was crushed and screened, with material less than 10 mm removed to represent a true ore sorter feed profile.
This fines material represented 25% of the total crushed material. The coarser screened fraction was then processed through the ore sorting machine.
The ore sorting utilised the DE-XRT sensor methodology with laser overlay that was successfully used to recognise the cassiterite mineralisation in the Phase 1 test-work.
The results of the test-work have been aggregated to model the proposed life of mine production profile for Achmmach.
These assume that in a full sized plant the screened fine fraction of ore feed that bypasses the sorter is then combined with the "Accept" fraction from the ore sorter before advancing to the tin separation processes.
Benefits of ore sorting to the Achmmach tin project
- Improved ore grades into the processing plant -The average feed grade of tin ore into the processing plant will increase by 34%, with a resultant increase in recovery through the plant. Whilst 6% of the tin will be lost in reject material from the ore sorter, the improved recovery through the processing plant more than offsets these losses. R
- Reduced throughput through the processing plant - Annual processing plant throughput will reduce from 750,000 tpa to 500,000 tpa,requiring less processing
equipment, less water for processing, less reagents and less power. As a result, the capital and operating costs associated with the processing plant are expected to reduce.
- Reduced tailings space required - As a direct result of less tonnage being treated through the processing plant, less tailings capacity will be required. Alternatively, the tailings capacity previously designed could be utilised to support a longer mine life, of 14 years rather than 10 years.
- Opportunity to re-optimise the mine plan - With lower operating costs comes the opportunity to reassess the cut off and mining grades within the mine with the potential to increase reserves and mine life.
- Improved project economics - Whilst test-work is continuing and finalisation of project costs has yet to occur, the introduction of the ore sorting technology, combined with an improving tin price provides the opportunity to significantly improve the project economics.