Midas Gold (OTCQX:MDRPF) has just released the results from its metallurgical test work on the Golden Meadows project in Idaho. Last year, I was charmed by the project because it contains a substantial antimony-kicker, and I'm planning to write an in-depth updated review soon. As usual with mining projects being advanced to the pre-feasibility and feasibility study stage, Midas Gold has been focusing on the flow sheets to get the highest possible recovery rates for its gold, silver and antimony.
As the deposit mainly consists of sulphide-type mineralization, the best way to get the gold out of the ore is through a flotation process. A second flotation circuit will be added to recover the antimony where warranted (i.e. if the Sb-grade is higher than 0.1%, the ore will be sent through a second circuit to try to recover it). Based on the work being done until now, the expected recovery rate for antimony will be 80-90% and the recovery rate for the gold will be between 88% and 92% for the Yellow Pine and Hangar Flats zones, whilst the recovery rate for the West End zone will be lower, at 81-84%.
Metallurgical test work is an important step in de-risking the project as ultimately all economic parameters will be influenced by how fast and efficient you can get the commodities out of the rocks. Additionally, there are also financing consequences. As Midas profiles itself as a gold company, it could easily use the antimony as leverage to finance the project, by for instance arranging a pre-paid offtake agreement for the antimony. At the current antimony price, the company will produce $340M worth of antimony in the first 8 years of the mine life, so it allows the company to be creative with its financing ideas further down the road.
Disclosure: The author is long MDRPF.
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