First results from metallurgy testing at Aureus Mining's (LON:AUE, TSE:AUE) New Liberty mine in Liberia has indicated higher gold recoveries and significantly lower operating costs are possible.
David Reading, Aureus's chief executive, said the tests further demonstrated the strong economics of the New Liberty project.
Results showed halved leach residence time, a reduction in cyanide consumption of a third, an improved cyanide destruction process and the possibility to boost gold recoveries above 93%.
"These improvements will impact positively on both the capital and operating costs.
"Overall plant recovery will be defined when an economic trade-off has been completed to quantify the recovery benefit associated with the inclusion of a regrind mill," said Aureus.
The optimisation test work was completed on a 240kg representative bulk composite sample and six variability composite samples from the New Liberty deposit.
Reading added: "These metallurgical results, which indicate significantly lower operating costs due to factors which include a shorter CIL [carbon-in-leach] residence time and lower consumption of reagents, further demonstrate the strong economics of New Liberty.
"This is the first set of results for what is an on-going optimisation programme, the full results of which will be available towards the end of the first quarter of this year.
"We are confident the results of this programme will further enhance the returns for all stakeholders on what will be Liberia's first commercial gold mine."
"The objective of the optimisation phase test work was to finalize the flow sheet and optimize reagent consumption while achieving an overall test work recovery of 93%."
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