NICKEL EXPLORATION NEWS Met Tests Resume on Weda Bay Ore

INDONESIA Metallurgical testing of limonite and saprolite ores from the island of Halmahera shows promising resul...
INDONESIA Metallurgical testing of limonite and saprolite ores from the island of Halmahera shows promising results, says Toronto-based WEDA BAY MINERALS. The new tests are part of the bankable feasibility study being prepared for a potential nickel producer. The work developed a combined pressure acid leach (PAL), atmospheric leach (ATL) and saprolite neutralization (SN) process flowsheet. Creation of a bulk laterite treatment plant would lower the capital and operating costs of the project, previously estimated to be about US$902 million.

Results of the tests pointed toward five key results. Feed thickening increases solids density at the head of the PAL circuit. Recovery in excess of 95% nickel and cobalt was achieved from the limonite feed in the PAL circuit. Two hours' retention time of saprolite feed in the ATL circuit recovered over 96% of the nickel. The SN circuit can achieve recoveries of over 80% after four hours of reaction. Use of a counter-current decantation (CCD) circuit is feasible for the combined leach product.

The Halmahera project has measured and indicated resources of 133 million tonnes grading 1.37% Ni and 0.11% Co. The inferred resource adds another 82 million tonnes at 1.33% Ni and 0.12% Co to the total. Cut-off grades of 1.0% Ni and 0.1% Co were used.

Technical information, maps and photos of Weda Bay's project are posted at www.wedabay.com.

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