Metates Metallurgical Test Work Looks PromisingBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 05/27/2021 - 15:14
Chesapeake Gold announced the completion of its diamond drilling program at its Metates project in Durango and provided an update of its 2021 work program.
The Metates project is considered one of the largest and undeveloped gold and silver deposits in the world. Metates is wholly owned by Chesapeake and its proven and probable reserves are 18 Moz of gold, more than 500 Moz of silver, and more than 4 billion pounds of zinc.
In January 2021, Chesapeake acquired Alderley Gold Corp, gaining access to proven and innovative sulfide technology that will help bring the project to production. In an interview with MBN, Alan Pangbourne, CEO of Chesapeake Gold, explained that the company acquired Alderley because its technology provided many advantages. “The process we used previously focused on using a more traditional pressure oxidation procedure and required a huge amount of capital to complete. The use of this new technology will have a massive impact on lowering the project’s capital and operational costs.”
The company announced it has drilled 2,500m of large diameter core, providing 10 tons of ore to be used for metallurgical test work. The material is being sent to the ALS Laboratories in Zacatecas to prepare it with pulps that will later be analyzed in Vancouver, Canada.
Pangbourne said the metallurgical program will be used as a guide on final design parameters for ore oxidation levels, reagent consumption, gold and silver recoveries and oxidation cycles. The company expects positive test results as it will significantly reduce risk and improve the economic viability of the project.
The first phase of the test program will include 40 test columns to analyze the size, its strength and types of ore, which will determine the optimal parameters for oxidation and leaching of precious metals. The Vancouver lab is expected to begin test work in 3Q21 and will prioritize the portion of the Metates deposit. Its first results are expected to be published in 4Q21.
Regarding the heap leach operation, M3 Engineering & Technology Corp. is working on a scoping study and focusing on the higher-grade intrusive section of the orebody to validate its economic viability. The company announced that the preliminary economic study is expected to be released between 2Q21 and 3Q21.
Pangbourne told MBN that in the short term, the company is concentrating on finishing all the background test work and generating all the necessary data associated with it. The company has US$35 million in the bank, which is enough to complete all the feasibility studies that are expected to be completed in 2023. The company also announced its plans to start the permitting process with the federal and Durango’s state government in order to start operating by 2026.