Korbel Main is Nova’s main focus at its wider, highly prospective Estelle Gold Project, based in Alaska’s famed Tintina Gold Province, a gold belt that stretches for more than 1,000 kilometres across the northern part of the North American Cordillera, a mountainous region along the western side of the Americas.
In an update to shareholders, Nova CEO Chris Gerteisen said the scoping study would be delivered by July and form the basis of a pre-feasibility study.
Scoping study “on track”
“The study is currently underway and on track for delivery in July,” Gerteisen said.
“This study will be based on the current 4.7-million-ounce resource at Korbel Main, and the conceptual process flow sheet as reported marks a major milestone in delivering a key input towards the completion of this study.
“The study is intended to provide a ‘snapshot in time’ to demonstrate a potentially viable pathway to production while acting as a stepping-stone towards a PFS, which will commence forthwith.”
Gerteisen said Nova was working on an on-site sample prep-lab facility, with construction nearing completion.
“The first samples are expected to be processed through the lab and shipped out in coming weeks.
“The prep-lab will provide significant savings due to an owner-operator cost structure, as well as significantly reduced freight costs, with samples being 1/10th the original weight.
“A drastic improvement in turnaround times for assay results has been a key motivator in establishing our on-site prep-lab.
“As we await the commissioning of the on-site prep-lab, we have temporarily started to ship out samples from the ongoing 2021 drilling program to the commercial lab.
“We expect these assay results to be returned over the coming weeks and, geologically, some of these samples are looking very promising, showing encouraging gold grade indicators in terms of mineralogy and high vein densities.”
Technical improvements = more gold
As previously reported by Proactive, Nova Minerals has been busy refining the way it will produce gold at Korbel Main.
Gerteisen told Proactive its test-work was designed to refine the way it extracts gold from the ground beneath its feet.
“Having resources is all well and good but you’ve got to know how you’re going to get the gold out,” he said.
“That’s why this flowsheet is so important and since mid last year we’ve been looking at different ways of processing the ore to recover the most gold out of it, whilst also saving on time, costs and waste that hamper many other gold explorers.”
The results were impressive, with 95.4% of gold recovered into a concentrate with 5.1% of the flotation feed mass.
A high flotation concentration ratio is important as it allows fine grinding and intensive leaching of a small flotation concentrate, at a reasonable cost.
Not just Korbel Main
Korbel Main is just one of Nova’s tenements at Estelle and in his update, Gerteisen outlined the potential with additional drilling planned on other targets within the Korbel Valley, including Isabella, You Beauty and Cathedral.
Nova is also advancing the extremely promising RPM prospect towards resource delineation, with a rig expected to be mobilised in coming weeks to commence drilling aimed at completing a maiden resource estimate this year.
“This will add serious depth to the project with the potential of significantly increasing the global resource inventory, possibly opening up a second deposit for resource development,” Gerteisen said.
“Over 20 kilometres of highly prospective mineralized strike length separate Korbel and RPM and is paved with 15 other known prospects and numerous, unnamed gold showings throughout.
“Geological mapping and sampling teams are waiting to hit the ground in coming months to begin advancing these prospects with the aim of creating further drill targets.”
Story by ProactiveInvestors
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