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Density Ore Sorting Test Work

Particle Density XRT Ore Sorting Works Extremely Well on the Estelle Ore Bodies

Particle density XRT (X-Ray Transmission density ore sorting, NOT optical ore sorting) ore sorting is a proven technology which has been successfully implemented as part of the pre-treatment concentration process in many mines around the world (see below for examples of mines using or intending to use ore sorting). X-rays are used to examine the density of the rock being sorted in order to separate a target mineral, ore or element from waste prior to the haulage, crushing and processing mining stages. By rejecting a considerable proportion of the lower grade rock before processing through the mill, the mill feed grade is effectively increased and energy requirements and tailings generation are reduced, resulting in a more environmentally friendly mining operation with improved overall mine efficiencies and economic benefits.

The process starts with raw ore being scanned with X-rays and data collected from the detector. With the help of big data and intelligent algorithms, the ore and waste rock is separately identified and a high-pressure blower sprays the waste rock away to realize efficient automatic intelligent sorting.

Ore sorting test work completed on Estelle drill core at Tomra’s assessment site in Sydney has shown that particle XRT ore sorting technology works extremely well on the Estelle ore bodies as the gold is contained in sheeted veins within the high density (4-7 S.G) arsenopyrite rock which is vastly different to the lower density (2 S.G) country rock. Extensive testing has shown the potential to upgrade 0.4 g/t Au material up to 6 g/t Au, with the optimum at 0.73 g/t Au. This allows Nova to operate at a lower cut-off grade with reduced processing costs and increased mine production.

Nova envisages the density based XRT ore sorters to come online in the later years, well after the payback period and through cash flow. The sorters can be installed on a modeller basis without a high capital intensity as all infrastructure will already be established.

Further ore sorting test work is planned to be carried out on more Estelle ore after the completion of this year’s drilling program, including fines by-pass test work which has the potential to further increase the LOM production schedule and most importantly also reduce waste.

Mining Companies Currently Using or Proposing to Use Ore Sorters

  • Degrey Mining – Malina Gold Project, Toweranna Deposit (Gold), Western Australia, Australia – Information link here
  • Pilbara Minerals – Pilgangoora Project (Lithium), Western Australia, Australia – Information link here
  • Vista Gold Corp – Mt Todd Gold Project (Gold), Northern Territory, Australia – Infomation link here
  • Couer Mining – Kensington Gold Mine (Gold), Southeast Alaska, USA – Information link here
  • Stornoway Diamond Corp – Renard Mine (Diamonds), Quebec, Canada – Information link here
  • Mikroman Mining – Mugla, Aydin & Usak mines (Quartz), Turkey – Information link here
  • Gowest Gold – Bradshaw Deposit (Gold), Ontario, Canada – Information link here
  • Agino Eagle – Sinter Deposit & Pinos Altos Mine (Gold), Chihuahua State, Mexico – Information link here
  • Pantoro Ltd – Nicholsons Project (Gold), Western Australia, Australia – Information link here
  • Minsur – San Rafael Mine (Tin), Peru – Information link here