Special Report: Azure is working hard to boost recoveries from its very high-grade silver Mesa de Plata deposit in Mexico to around 90 per cent via advanced metallurgical testwork.
It’s a good time to be unearthing extremely high grades of up to 1,832 grams per tonne (g/t) silver, with the price continuing its run up.
Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) has now sent samples of the high-grade silver mineralisation from the Mesa de Plata silver deposit, part of its Alacrán project in Mexico, to a lab in Canada for advanced metallurgical testwork to be undertaken.
Previous metallurgical testwork demonstrated Azure could achieve silver recoveries up to 76 per cent when processed by flotation and cyanide leaching.
Follow up tests, meanwhile, showed the unrecovered silver can be concentrated and collected by gravity separation to produce a high-grade silver concentrate.
This next stage of testwork is aiming to refine the density-based gravity separation methodology followed by flotation and leaching to determine the optimum processing route.
If processing by a combination of gravity separation, flotation and leaching is successful, Azure is aiming for total silver recoveries of ~90 per cent.
Three reverse circulation holes were recently drilled into the high-grade zone of the Mesa de Plata silver deposit to collect samples containing the silver-rich romeite.
Romeite, a silver-rich mineral, neither floats nor leaches but is recoverable by gravity separation methods into a high-grade silver concentrate.
‘Bonanza’ grade silver
The three holes drilled returned ‘bonanza’ grade silver hits of 6m at 1,284g/t within a broader intercept of 10.5m at 805g/t from 12m; 3m at 1,832g/t within 15m at 677g/t from 39m; and 3m at 1,006g/t within 10.5m at 774g/t from 1.5m.
As a rule of thumb, anything over 50g/t is considered high-grade and while there is no official definition for a bonanza grade (just a way of describing speccy finds), it’s safe to say this would definitely make it into the bonanza category.
The high-grade silver zone outcrops as the ridge capping on top of the Mesa de Plata hill.
It hosts a high confidence measured and indicated resource of 15.5 million ounces of silver within 1.8 million tonnes of ore grading at 275g/t.
The total resource for the Mesa de Plata deposit currently sits at 27.4 million ounces within 10.5 million tonnes of ore grading at 82g/t.
This article was developed in collaboration with Azure Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.
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Barry Stroman was a reporter for Zerg Watch, before becoming the lead editor. Barry has previously worked for Wired, MacWorld, PCWorld, and VentureBeat covering countless stories concerning all things related to tech and science. Barry studied at NYU.