Thor Explorations Ltd (CVE:THX) has hailed first results from metallurgical test work on its 100% owned Segilola gold project in Nigeria, which it says, confirms that substantial recoveries are possible and at potentially less cost.
The testing is part of the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the project, which lies around 200km from the capital Lagos.
Data from the work suggested that a significant proportion of the gold is coarse particles which will be most efficiently recovered by gravity separation.
Highlights of the results, which used a bulk sample of 500kg of core, showed 77.5% average gravity recovery rate, and 98.9% total recovery was confirmed at 106 µm (micrometer) grind size and 24 hour cyanide leach
Average recovered head grade was 8.73 g/t (grams per ton) of the yellow metal, compared to estimated grade of 6.66 g/t (grams per ton) gold.
“We are extremely encouraged by these results which have both confirmed our hypotheses and exceeded our expectations," Segun Lawson, president and chief executive at Thor, told investors.
"The results confirm substantial gravity recovery is achievable and a significant opportunity exists for optimisation of the process plant, resulting in a reduced operating cost, increased total recovery and improved process efficiency. The results also return a 30% increase in the recovered grade compared to the estimated grade."
He added that that work the firm was carrying out continued to enhance the project and the firm looked forward to announcing final metallurgical results and pending drill results.
Segilola boasts an existing reserve of 448,000 ounces of gold grading 4.2 grams per tonne within a 556,000 ounce indicated resource grading 4.3 grams and supported by a further inferred resource of 305,000 ounces grading 4.7 grams.
Around US$75mln will be needed to get the mine built reportedly.
The likely all-in sustaining costs are estimated at US$682 per ounce, which should allow for plenty of margin against the current gold price, still holding at above US$1,300 per ounce.
A recent C$4.2mln funding should take the company comfortably through its definitive feasibility work, and into the full-blown capital raise.
Shares in Thor Explorations stood at C$0.22 at the time of writing.