Preliminary metallurgical test-work results from the Rodruin gold-polymetallic sulphide mineralisation are encouraging and indicate that saleable copper and zinc concentrates can be produced, gold development company Aton Resources interim CEO Tony Vahk reports.
“The copper concentrate, in particular, recovers high grades of gold and silver, and could potentially be sold as a precious metals concentrate,” he adds.
The company has been undertaking metallurgical testwork at its Rodruin and Hamama West projects, in Egypt.
“The results from testing of the Hamama West sulphide mineralisation were less positive and indicate that the sulphide mineralisation is refractory, and is not amenable to carbon-in-leach processing. High recoveries of gold and silver to a bulk concentrate, however, indicate that a precious metals concentrate could potentially be produced from Hamama West.
“This could provide Aton with some synergies when processing sulphide material from both the Hamama West and Rodruin deposits, as well as the higher-grade Abu Marawat deposit, which contains significantly higher copper grades than either Rodruin or Hamama West.
Vahk adds that, in light of the results from this phase of metallurgical testwork, Aton has decided to defer the immediate work on the revised mineral resource estimate for the Abu Marawat Concession, as it evaluates a net smelter return approach to the resource estimation.
This will be done in order to fully assess the potential of the Hamama West, Rodruin and Abu Marawat gold/silver/copper/zinc sulphide deposits.
“Aton Resources is continuing to push ahead towards its immediate primary goal, which is the completion of its application for the exploitation licence at the Abu Marawat Concession, and plans to submit this application to the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority within the coming two months.
The application for the exploitation licence will be based on a ‘commercial discovery’ comprising openpit mine and heap leach projects on the oxide gold caps of both the Hamama West and Rodruin deposits, which will represent the first two mining projects in the planned phased development of the Abu Marawat Concession.