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Finance Investment, Oil Mining Resources

Challenger Gold (ASX: CEL) – Pathway to Dore for Hualilan Gold-Silver Concentrate

Challenger Gold (ASX: CEL) 2 mins read

Challenger Gold (ASX: CEL), an ASX listed gold explorer, is thrilled to announce the successful outcomes of its recent metallurgical testwork program at the Hualilan Gold Project. This groundbreaking study, conducted in November 2023, has opened new avenues for the processing and profitability of the project.

Key Highlights of the Scoping Study:

  • The initial Scoping Study for the Hualilan Gold Project outlined a process path yielding three primary product streams: an Au-Ag concentrate from bulk flotation, a Zn-Au-Ag concentrate from sequential flotation, and Au-Ag doré from leaching of the flotation tailings-leach (FTL).

  • A significant enhancement was identified late in the study's preparation phase, proposing the conversion of the Au-Ag concentrate into doré through a fine-grind and high-intensity cyanide leach circuit. This addition, although not fully supported by test work at the time of the study's release, promised substantial improvements.

Economic and Environmental Benefits:

  • The conversion of Au-Ag concentrate to doré on-site is projected to eliminate transport costs of US$150 per ton and Treatment Costs/Refining Costs (TC/RCs) of US$100 per ton.

  • This process is expected to increase the payability of gold from 95% to 99.5% and silver from 60% to 97.5%, significantly enhancing the project's revenue potential.

Results from Intensive Leach Tests:

  • Two intensive leach tests conducted by SGS Lakefield on representative samples of the Au-Ag concentrate showed promising results: a 96.0% recovery of gold for the 16.7 µm P80 grind sample and a 92.8% recovery for the 40 µm P80 grind sample.

Cost and Revenue Implications:

  • The capital expenditure (CAPEX) required for producing doré using this method is expected to be minimal, especially considering the low tonnage of Au-Ag concentrate needing fine grinding and intense leaching. Operating costs are anticipated to be significantly lower than those associated with transporting and treating the Au-Ag concentrate.

  • This innovative approach to upgrading the Au-Ag concentrate to doré is expected to generate considerable additional revenue and cost savings for the Hualilan Gold Project.

Challenger Gold remains committed to exploring and implementing cutting-edge technologies and processes to enhance the value and efficiency of its mining operations. The results from the Hualilan Gold Project's metallurgical testwork represent a significant step forward in the company's pursuit of sustainable and profitable mining practices.

Commenting on the results, CEL Managing Director, Mr Kris Knauer, said “This is an excellent outcome from the first of a series of metallurgical tests targeting several material opportunities we have identified to improve the already attractive Hualilan Scoping Study economics

The testwork demonstrates a clear and simple pathway to produce gold doré on site which has several benefits for the project. Firstly, it removes some $100 million in costs associated with the transport and treatment of Au-Ag concentrate. Secondly, it increases the payability on the gold produced and removes the delay associated with payment for gold sold via a concentrate reducing working capital requirements.

Testwork to address the other material opportunities identified to enhance Hualilan is progressing and we look forward to presenting these in due course."

About us:

Challenger Gold Limited’s (ASX: CEL) aspiration is to become a globally significant gold producer. The Company is developing two complementary gold/copper projects in South America with the Company's flagship Hualilan Gold Project in San Juan, Argentina containing resources of 2.8 Moz AuEq. 

Contact details:

Jane Morgan


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