Minco (MIO)

 

LSE:MIO: Newfoundland Metallurgical Research Program

Minco

07 Mar 2017 07:00:08

Minco PLC

RNS Number : 6704Y
Minco PLC
07 March 2017
 

 

 

Minco Plc

 

 
 
 POSITIVE RESULTS FROM METALLURGICAL RESEARCH PROGRAM    
ON CENTRAL MILLING FACILITY IN NEWFOUNDLAND
 
 
·    Minco’s Lundberg deposit key feed contributor to Central Mill
 
 
·    Positive Metallurgical Results for all Deposits using Common Flotation Flowsheet
 

 

TORONTO, 7 MARCH 2017 - Minco Plc (AIM - "MIO") is pleased to provide a summary of the results from its recent successfully completed research program investigating the viability of a central milling facility to develop its volcanogenic massive sulphide ("VMS") Zn-Pb-Cu-Ag-Au base metal deposits in central Newfoundland.

 

Objectives of the Research Program

 

Minco, through its 100% owned subsidiary Buchans Minerals Corporation, and Canadian Zinc Corporation (TSX: CZN; OTCQB: CZICF) undertook the collaborative study to explore the concept of a centralized milling facility to process multiple base metal deposits in Newfoundland. 

 

The metallurgical research program was funded in part by the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) through the GeoEXPLORE Industry-led program.

 

Both companies hold base metal exploration projects with several polymetallic deposits under advanced exploration and early development within the vicinity of the past producing Buchans and Duck Pond mines in central Newfoundland. The main copper, lead, zinc silver and gold deposits that were included in this study were the Bobbys Pond, Daniels Pond and Lundberg deposits, 100% owned by Buchans Minerals and the Lemarchant and Boomerang-Domino deposits, 100% owned by Canadian Zinc.

 

The Lundberg deposit is the largest, most advanced property in terms of resource definition, mine planning (with the potential to have an open pit mine), metallurgical testing and economic studies completed to date. All the other mineral deposits are smaller, higher grade deposits that may not individually support a mine and processing operation and therefore the principal goal of the research program was to assess the technical and economic viability of developing a number of these mineral deposits utilizing a common central processing facility.

 

 

Research Study Methodology

 

To evaluate the potential for centralized milling of some or all of these deposits, the study included bench scale testing for process development, preliminary mine plan development and using a conceptual economic model to assess the economics of various processing scenarios.

 

The bench scale test work was undertaken by Thibault & Associates Inc. of Fredericton, New Brunswick, to characterize each deposit with respect to dense media separation ("DMS") and

 

 

flotation for production of copper, lead and zinc concentrates. The use of DMS was considered as an opportunity to reduce transportation costs by rejecting waste at the mine site before trucking to the central milling facility. The bench scale flotation testing was completed in order to develop a common flotation flowsheet with flexibility for processing of the five different deposits involved, and improve grades, recoveries and operating costs defined by previous test programs.

 

Buchans Minerals and Canadian Zinc provided preliminary mine plans, mining costs and operating costs for each of their respective deposits. Thibault & Associates Inc. combined the mining inputs with a process simulation and costing model to develop a conceptual economic model for the project, which was used to evaluate various process options. The variables assessed included several potential mill sites, with or without DMS, new or used process equipment, mining rate, and processing feedstock composition for each deposit.

 

Highlights of Results of Research Program:

 

·     Pre-concentration of the samples by bench scale DMS testing (prior to flotation) was determined to be technically viable for the Lundberg deposit, Bobbys Pond samples and the semi-massive and stringer sulphide sample from the Lemarchant Footwall.

 

·     Metallurgical test results strongly support the development of a sequential flotation flowsheet for the processing of all five deposits using a centralized processing facility.

 

·     Bench scale flotation test programs indicated improved grade and recovery relationship for the production of copper, lead and zinc concentrates using a common sequential flotation flowsheet rather than a bulk flotation flowsheet.

 

·     Test results and METSIMTM metallurgical simulations confirm that selective zinc, lead and copper concentrates at marketable grades can be produced using a sequential flotation flowsheet.

 

·     The process simulation and cost assessment results (conceptual economic modeling) provided key information on which to base future studies and development plans, including the ongoing exploration programs that are critical to expanding the deposits and advancing the viability of developing the central Newfoundland deposits through a centralized milling facility

 

"We are very satisfied and encouraged with the results of the research program", stated John Kearney, Chairman and Chief Executive of Minco. "From the important metallurgical standpoint, demonstrating that these five different deposits can be processed on a common flotation flowsheet is a key step forward in evaluating the viability of centralized milling as a development opportunity for these projects. The initial economic simulations utilizing this new metallurgical data provides valuable information and direction on which to guide our future exploration and development plans for our Newfoundland deposits".

 

Summary Findings of Research Program

 

The DMS and metallurgical test results for all five deposits were reported in November 2016 (see news release November 3, 2016).

 

The DMS and metallurgical test programs were followed-up by Thibault & Associates with a Process Simulation and Cost Assessment model (AACE Class V - order of magnitude conceptual assessment) to evaluate and identify the key factors impacting the operating

 

 

 

economics of a centralized processing concept for the production of the base metal concentrates from the five base metal deposits.

 

Multiple conceptual economic scenarios at three potential sites were developed to simulate the proposed centralized milling concept. The variables assessed included the different potential mill sites, with or without DMS, new or used process equipment, mining rate, and processing feedstock composition for each deposit. Lundberg, being the largest but lowest grade deposit, was considered the main plant feed and Lemarchant, Boomerang, Daniels Pond and Bobbys Pond were treated as satellite deposits.

 

The results indicated that Minco's Lundberg deposit would enhance the viability of a central milling facility and the future development of this region's mineral resources. The potential benefits include:

 

·     Increase Project Life - The additional tonnage contribution from the Lundberg deposit to a central milling facility would add considerably to the life of the project.

 

·     Reliable Mill Feed - Open pit production from the Lundberg deposit would provide a very predictable and reliable source of mill feed that will limit potential issues related to maintaining underground mining rate from the other satellite deposits.

 

The proximity of the Lundberg deposit to the town of Buchans provides for ready access to existing infrastructure (i.e. roads, electricity, labour), as well as existing tailings facilities that could potentially be expanded, but would result in longer haulage distances from most of the satellite deposits.

 

Minco's Lundberg deposit is a large, near-surface open-pitable resource located on the north side of Red Indian Lake near the town of Buchans in central Newfoundland, which because of its large size holds more contained zinc, copper and lead metal than the other four smaller satellite deposits combined.

 

The Lundberg deposit is comprised of base metal sulphide enriched stockwork mineralization located in the footwall to the previously mined, high-grade, Lucky Strike massive sulphide ore body, which was mined by ASARCO between 1926 and 1984. 

 

Table 1: Lundberg Deposit NI 43-101 Indicated & Inferred Resource Estimate (2013).

 

NSR ($US)

Cut-off

Category

Rounded Tonnes

  Zinc

(Zn) %

    Lead

(Pb) %

Copper

(Cu) %

Silver

(Ag) g/t

Gold

(Au) g/t

15

Indicated

23,440,000

1.41

0.60

0.35

5.31

0.07

Inferred

4,310,000

1.29

0.54

0.27

4.47

0.08

 

*Source: - Mineral Resource Estimate Technical Report on the Lundberg Deposit, Buchans Area, Newfoundland, Canada, April 26, 2013; filed on SEDAR

 

 

The metallurgical research study demonstrated that the ore from Minco's Lundberg, Daniels Pond and Bobby's Pond deposits can be successfully processed in a central mill using a sequential flotation flowsheet, and that selective zinc, lead and copper concentrates at marketable grades can be produced from these deposits.

 

 

Recommendations and Future Programs

 

The positive results of the research project provide valuable direction to guide future exploration on Minco's central Newfoundland volcanogenic massive sulphide ("VMS") Zn-Pb-Cu-Ag-Au base metal deposits and the conceptual economic modelling provided key information on which to focus future economic studies and development plans for advancing the development of the Lundberg and satellite deposits using a central milling facility. 

 

It is recommended that further review of the satellite deposits should be undertaken to examine the potential to increase minable resource size, run of mine ore grades and mine production rates, and to evaluate cost-effective alternative mining methods, so that the satellite deposits could generate sufficient revenue to support the costs in developing and producing from these smaller, higher grade deposits.

 

ABOUT MINCO PLC

 

Minco Plc, incorporated in the Republic of Ireland and listed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange ("MIO"), is an exploration and development company currently engaged in zinc-lead exploration in Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and is also evaluating its Woodstock manganese project in New Brunswick, Canada. 

Minco also holds an approximate 26% shareholding in Xtierra Inc, (TSXV- "XAG"), which holds mineral properties in Mexico, and a 2% NSR royalty on the Curraghinalt gold property in Northern Ireland, currently being explored by Dalradian Resources Inc. (TSX-"DNA"). 

For further information contact:

Warren MacLeod: Director, President Buchans Minerals


+1 709 725 0555

John F. Kearney: Chairman


+1 416 362 6686

Danesh Varma: CFO & Company Secretary


+44 (0) 8452 606 034

Peter McParland: Director - Ireland


+353 (0) 46 907 3709

John Frain: Davy (NOMAD)


+353 (0)1 6796363

Saif Janjua: (Corporate Advisor) (Broker, Beaufort Securities)


+44 (0) 20 7382 8415

 

Website: www.mincoplc.com

 

Qualified Person

 

J. Dean Thibault, P.Eng., Senior Process Chemical Engineer of Thibault & Associates Inc. is the qualified person for this release and has reviewed the contents for accuracy and approved this release.  Thibault & Associates Inc. is a process chemical engineering firm specializing in process flowsheet development, plant design and process intensification assessment.

 

 

 

Cautionary Statement - Forward-Looking Information

 

This news release contains certain forward-looking information, including, among other things, the expected exploration of mineral properties. This forward looking information includes, or may be based upon, estimates, forecasts, and statements as to management's expectations with respect to, among other things, the timing of exploration, development and mining activities, the size and quality of mineral resources, progress in development of mineral properties, demand and market outlook for metals, future metal prices and treatment and refining charges, future trends for the company, and the financial results of the company. Mineral exploration and development is a speculative business including, among other risks, the failure to discover mineral deposits but also from finding mineral deposits that, though present, are insufficient in quantity and quality to return a profit from development and production. There can be no assurances that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Inferred mineral resources are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that mineral resources will be converted into mineral reserves.


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