Future Metals have made a massive breakthrough at its Panton project and established rotation repeatability with consistent metallurgical platinum group metal recoveries averaging 78 per cent at an average grade of 286g/t PGM from the highest grade PGM resource in Australia.
It significantly de-risks future mining and processing while providing the path towards developing a low-capital, high-margin PGM-Nickel operation from the second-largest deposit of its kind in the nation.
Alongside flotation, bulk ore sorting test work results from Panton demonstrated a 97 per cent recovery of high-grade PGM-bearing ore and rejection of low-grade material and waste, improving the mill feed grade by eleven per cent while reducing mass by thirteen per cent.
The news comes on the back of Future Metals confirming further broad zones of disseminated nickel-copper-PGM sulphides last week, adding further growth potential to a 6.9-million-ounce palladium equivalent JORC resource.
As Future Metals near completion of Panton’s scoping study, results continue to expand its scale to incorporate positive impacts of ore sorting, including mitigating mining dilution, increasing and improving both the head grade and consistency of processed ore and reducing capital and operating costs.
The company is starting to give some thought to downstream processing, giving the option to value-add through production of high-payability, low-emission upgraded metal products, with previous test work showing recoveries of over 99 per cent for a majority of contained metals.
The company said downstream prospecting would align Panton with the Australian Government’s Critical Minerals Strategy which incentivises upgrading and developing deposits of critical minerals.
“We have now demonstrated a credible metallurgical solution that places Panton firmly on the development pathway. Panton is the highest grade PGM deposit in Australia, enabling us to progress a low capital and high margin operation with significant growth upside,” managing director Jardee Kininmonth said.
“Optimisation and variability flotation test work has demonstrated highly repeatable results with strong recoveries at high concentrate grades. The ore sorting results are significant, as it is the key to increasing mineable tonnes while ensuring the ore reporting to the mill is high grade,”
The company is planning to finish the ongoing scoping study in the latter half of this year, enabling all recent developments to be included.
FME’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed share price has risen 8.11 per cent today, currently selling at 8.0c (9.52 am UTC+ 8 hours).