Auroch Minerals’ (ASX:AOU) share price is up 8% in lunchtime trades as company geos confirm high-grade massive nickel-copper sulphides at the Saints nickel project.
An upgraded mineral resource estimate for the project is due in no more than 6 weeks, which management intends to boost bankability of the mine.
Currently, that resource sits at 21,400t of Nickel from 1.02Mt of total material at a grade of 2% nickel.
Adding to investor optimism is recent metallurgy testwork results, boasting nickel concentrate with grades up to 24% nickel.
Assay drilling conducted earlier this year has returned grade results for the company’s nickel mineralisation ranging between 3.9 to 5.2%.
Investor information service Undervalued Equity notes Nickel grades of 2% and above are considered high grade.
The upgraded MRE will coincide with a new scoping study for the project, as Auroch gets ready to pick up the shovel (and tunnelling machinery) to design an underground mine.
With metallurgy testwork results proving Auroch’s ability to produce high quality nickler concentrate, company Managing Director Aidan Patel is wasting no time moving forward.
“These tests have shown that sulphide mineralisation can produce a very clean, high-grade concentrate, which would make it a desirable ore source for any nickel beneficiation facility in the region,” Patel said.
“We are also pleased to [be] upgrading the MRE…these two work streams will provide critical inputs to the project scoping study and result in a higher level of confidence for financing.”
As the scoping study and MRE upgrade progress over the next two months, Auroch will send its materials back to the lab to probe further recovery opportunities.
Auroch notes nickel sulphides were still detected in the tailings of both initial tests, suggesting there is still commercial value in re-treatment.
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