Democratic Republic of Congo – AIM-listed gold developer Armadale’s review of metallurgical test work supports the development of a planned process route for gold recovery at the 678 000 oz Mpokoto gold project in the Katanga province.

A production rate of approximately 25 000 ozpa of gold over an initial nine year life of mine is targeted to commence at the project in H1, 2016, with an average projected operating cost of US$647/oz.

As part of the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for Mpokoto, the company has completed a review of all previous metallurgical test work.  The evaluation encompasses all historic test work going back to 2005, through to the most recent gravity and leaching test work produced by Peacock and Simpson in 2015.

Based on the review and recent results Armadale has selected a process route for the first phase of the project:

  • Phase 1, when the majority of the ore feed is weathered and deeply oxidised:  the plant will consist of scrubbing, milling, a batch Knelson concentrator to recover the free gold, and flotation of the Knelson tailings.  The flotation concentrate will be intensively cyanided.
  • Phase 2, as the amount of weathered ore decreases and the proportion of transitional and fresh ore increases: a regrind ball mill will be added to grind the flotation concentrate and a Carbon-In-Leach (‘CIL’) circuit will be added to leach the flotation tailings.

Recoveries of between 88% and 90% are expected on the weathered ore and 84% on the transitional and fresh ore, prior to the CIL circuit being added.  During the DFS further test work will be completed to determine the effect of adding the CIL circuit to the treatment of transitional and fresh ores.

Dr Andrew Tunks, the newly appointed director of Armadale, says, “Settling on a final process route for the Mpokoto gold project is another significant step forward in the development path of our low CAPEX, low OPEX operation.  With drilling on track to commence imminently to add additional tonnages to the current project resource of 678 000 oz and an agreement in place with Africa Mining Contracting Services (A-MCS) to fund develop, construct and operate Mpokoto, the project is rapidly progressing towards first gold production in 2016.”

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