Nova Minerals (photo: Nova Minerals)
Alaska, USA:
“We are unlocking a district at the Estelle gold project with a 10-year plus runway of exploration targets to cover and upside in resource growth across the Estelle Gold district and have a plethora of highly prospective immediate targets such as Cathedral, RPM and Shoeshine that we will drill later in 2020. We also anticipate that these prospects will add significantly to Nova’s Resource base and solidify the Estelle Project as the next emerging major gold camp. Stand by; we are only getting started, the best is yet to come.”
Avi Kimelman
Managing Director
Nova Minerals Limited

Nova Minerals Limited today announced  the engagement of DRA Global  to conduct Phase 1 and 2 ore sorting test-work to continue its progression of the Korbel deposit towards a future low strip, bulk minable, heap leach operation. The objective of the  study through 2020 is to assess the suitability of  sorting applicable to the specific style of mineralization contained at Korbel. It will also involve test work, design, management and supervision to determine ore sorting amenability.

Additionally, the study will assess the overall impact of the ore sorting circuit in a future flowsheet. This will include completion of a dynamic simulation in phase 2 to establish ore sorting stockpile and ore sorting requirements for the optimal CAPEX, OPEX, Operability and Maintainability of the overall process plant. High level deliverables will include generation of process mass and water balances, mechanical equipment list, and a concept level (AACE Class 5) CAPEX estimate for the entire plant.

Nova recognizes the need for sorting studies early on in the mine development cycle. These kinds of studies help to keep moving the project towards Pre-Feasibility. In addition the sorting study will run concurrently with the 2020 Resource drilling programme. Subject to drilling and positive results, Nova sees various processing options at Korbel.

These options include:

1) heap leach,

2) carbon-in-pulp (CIP) circuit
or 3) a combination of the two.

NVA Managing Director, Mr. Avi Kimelman said: “We are very pleased with the progress that the Company is making towards delivering on its plan to rapidly unlocking the Estelle Gold District through both Significantly increasing resources and fast tracking the Block B “Starter Pit” to development. This sorting test work commencing simultaneously with our drilling maintains our strategy of saving time, resources and
money by streamlining data and productivity to deliver strong shareholder returns in as
short a timeframe as possible whilst still ensuring that the technical and economic possibilities are fully understood and progressed. Nova’s greatest accomplishment in 2019 was proving up 2.5Moz of gold in the Inferred Category in a very short period of time and demonstrating exceptional gold leach recoveries averaging 76% at the Korbel Gold Deposit (one of 15 known prospects).”

“We look forward to amplifying our exploration and project development efforts in 2020 and are committed to keeping our shareholders constantly updated on our progress. We are unlocking a district at the Estelle gold project with a 10-year plus run way of exploration targets to cover and upside in resource growth across the Estelle Gold district and have a plethora of highly prospective immediate targets such as Cathedral, RPM and Shoeshine that we will drill later in 2020. We also anticipate that these prospects will add significantly to Nova’s Resource base and solidify the Estelle Project as the next emerging major gold camp. Stand by; we are only getting started, the best is yet to come.”

Benefits of Ore Sorting
Ore sorting is generally recognized as the single biggest opportunity for mines and deposits to dramatically improve project ROI. DRA is a global leader in independent engineering and construction support of ore sorting  technology. Operating mines and brownfields deposits such Korbel constantly look for engineering techniques to increase production, reduce costs, improve recovery, and expand reserves. Ore sorting may help meet these goals in several ways.

Mill or heap Leach feed grade is increased leading to:
1. Reduced unit production costs;
2. Increased metal production; and
3. Increased mill  recoveries.

Uneconomical rocks are removed early in the process leading to:
1. Reduced transportation and operating costs;
2. Increased throughput available down stream;
3. Smaller tailings ponds or tailings storage facilities; and
4. Lower grade ore stacked on the heap leach pad.

Lower Cut-off grades leading to:
1. Increase in reserves (without dramatic impact on mill and heap leach feed grade); and
2. Potentially increased life of mine.

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