Wowo Gap tech getting better

A SECOND round of analysis on Resource Mining Corporation’s Wowo Gap nickel-cobalt project in Papua New Guinea has confirmed its viability, prompting industrial-scale testing that will form the basis of a planned scoping study.
Wowo Gap tech getting better Wowo Gap tech getting better Wowo Gap tech getting better Wowo Gap tech getting better Wowo Gap tech getting better

Results included nickel extraction rates from limonite ore of 50%, 55%, 72% and 75% compared to the previous rates of 6%, 7% 13% and 14% while saprolite tests returned rates of 93%, 78%, 84% and 90% versus 16%, 18%, 20% and 21% previously.

Cobalt rates followed suit, with extraction rates from limonite ore of 100% across the board compared to results of 39%, 54%, 67% and 58% previously.

Saprolite ore tests returned rates of 89%, 94%, 88% and 79% compared with 60%, 78% 71% and 55% previously.

A new program of test work is being designed with the objective of developing a more comprehensive understanding of the science and leach kinetics behind Resource Mining's green-tech leaching process. The program will also investigate metal recovery options.

Resource Mining hopes its leaching technology will provide a more cost-effective alternative to the standard high-pressure acid leaching process that was originally looked at for Wowo Gap and is used by laterite nickel miners in Western Australia and around the globe.

In Wowo Gap's case, previous research found the saprolite ore contained large amounts of magnesium silicate, a mineral that under normal treatment was consumed by the acid but was found to be economically viable for the shallower but lower-grade limonite ores.

Resource Mining managing director Warwick Davies previously told sister publication that he expected laterite nickel miners to be interested in its leaching technology.

But he stressed more work needed to be done to demonstrate its viability before the company could market the technology to other players.

"While our focus is on nickel and cobalt ... and we have found a process that is capable of leaching other base metal oxide ores, we are not sure whether it will work for oxide gold ores and further test work is required on this," he said.

  • NEW: Digital version of PNG Report magazine - View here
  • Porgera: Barrick-PNG talks go on - Read more
  • Follow the companies investing in the PNG market - Read more