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:: Great Panther Considers Reprocessing Tailings at Topia
Great Panther Resources Ltd.'s preliminary metallurgical testing of tailings material from the Topia silver-lead-zinc mine in Durango, Mexico, indicates that recoveries of 75 per cent for both silver and gold are possible by reprocessing the tailings.
Historical records indicate that since Penoles began production in 1952, a total of 1.38 million metric tons of ore were processed at the Topia mill, with an average head grade of 420 grams per tonne silver, 3.7 per cent lead, 4.0 per cent zinc and 0.856 gram per tonne gold. A sampling program by Penoles in 1985 to 1988 estimated that approximately one million tonnes of tailings remained on the property with average grades of 76 g/t silver and 0.68 g/t gold.
The current round of metallurgical testing was conducted by SGS Lakefield Research Ltd. at its facilities in Ontario, on a 250-kilogram composite sample of tailings material taken from several places in the Topia mine tailings pond. Head grades of the sample were comparable with the reported grade of the tailings, at 84.15 g/t silver and 0.68 g/t gold. Laboratory work consisted of a variety of mineralogical, grinding and metallurgical tests that indicated that a process of regrinding and flotation of the tailings achieved greater recoveries than gravity concentration and cyanidation.
Based upon these preliminary results and the historical records, the company is evaluating the opportunity to reprocess the tailings for the recovery of silver and gold, perhaps using the plant on site. If the company's internal analysis indicates that the tailings recovery could be a viable project, separate from or in conjunction with the actual hard rock mine itself, then an independent feasibility study will be commissioned to verify the resource and determine the anticipated capital and operating costs.
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