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New Era Announces Metallurgical Test Results for Suyeke Property

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New Era Minerals Inc. (TSXV: NEM; “New Era” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce positive initial metallurgical test results on samples obtained from its 95% owned Suyeke North nickel property (the “Suyeke North Property”) located in Tuoli County, Tacheng Area, Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China. The current nickel recovery is improved from 2011 test results; in addition, a high-purity magnesia (MgO) co-product containing over 99% MgO was also extracted and may have the potential for additional economic value.

Background

New Era initiated metallurgical testing of the Suyeke North Property in 2011 by retaining the Mineral Resources Utilization Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Geological Science, Sichuan, China. Nickel recoveries ranged from 51 to 60% in those tests.

Optimization testwork was conducted in 2014 by Nanyang Chemical Engineering Testing Center, Henan, China using hydro-metallurgy. The results showed an improved nickel recovery and the possibility to produce three other co-products containing magnesium, silicon, and iron. However, the bench-scale process was complex and consumed a large number of chemical reagents.

In 2018, New Era engaged Pacific Mining Consulting Ltd. based in BC, Canada for further process optimization. Met-Solve Laboratories Inc. (Met-Solve), based in BC, Canada, was also retained by New Era to evaluate mineral processing and hydrometallurgical methods under the supervision of Ting Lu, P.Eng., an independent processing engineer from Pacific Mining Consulting Ltd.

Test Program

Met-Solve conducted baseline testwork on four individual samples, including three drill core samples and one surface rock sample, all collected from the C2 deposit representing oxides, silicates and sulphide mineralization. Optimization tests were completed on one composite sample prepared to simulate local mineralization that may be encountered in future mining activities. The sampling instructions were provided by Greg Mosher P. Geo., a consulting geologist based in BC, Canada and independent geologist from Pacific Mining Consulting Ltd.

Baseline tests were comprised of leaching and flotation concentration to confirm and maximize nickel and magnesium recoveries from the four individual samples. Parameters that may impact the baseline test results were also examined to find optimized values at a preliminary level. The established test conditions were applied to the composite samples. Nickel and cobalt were recovered from both leaching and flotation stages; while magnesium was extracted via leaching, purification, precipitation and then converted to high-grade magnesia by roasting.

Highlights of 2018 Hydro-Metallurgical Confirmation Tests

  • The overall nickel recovery increased to about 72% for the sulphide sample by using a combined treatment of one-stage acid leaching and flotation on leach residues. This method also produced a 65% nickel recovery for the composite sample. For the silicate, oxide and surface samples, leaching method alone was used for metal extraction. The table below lists the metal recoveries on each sample from the baseline testing to set up test conditions. Variable tests are recommended in future. 
Test # Sample Type Total Recovery
(%)
Head Grade
(%)
Ni Co Ni Co
DI102+DI112 Sulphide 71.6 75.0 0.22 0.009
DI202 Silicate 39.1 31.8 0.19 0.009
DI303 Oxide 71.0 69.5 0.23 0.009
DI403 Surface 90.2 94.9 0.23 0.010
DI602+DI611 Sulphide-Silicate Composite 64.6 68.3 0.23 0.009
  • The magnesium leaching rate, the co-product during leaching process, is about 90% on the composite sample. Higher leaching rates are observed within oxide and surface samples which is in line with 2014 test results. See the following table.
Test # Sample Total Recovery
(%)
Head Grade
(%)
Mg Mg
DI102+DI112 Sulphide 90.3 23.7
DI202 Silicate 80.6 19.9
DI303 Oxide 96.7 22.8
DI403 Surface 93.4 23.8
DI602+DI611 Sulphide-Silicate Composite 90.0 21.6
  • The leached magnesium was purified, precipitated, and then roasted to produce the final magnesia product. The optimal grade of the final magnesia product is 99.3% MgO. The table below shows results from two roasting tests on magnesium precipitates produced under different test conditions. 
Test # MgO
(%)
Fe2O3
(%)
CaO
(%)
MnO
(%)
Al2O3
(%)
Na2O
(%)
P2O5
(%)
SiO2
(%)
DI501 94.4 0.06 1.32 <0.01 <0.01 6.96 0.09 0.02
DI502 99.3 0.12 0.34 0.10 <0.01 0.16 0.12 0.02

Conclusions
The 2018 bench-scale testwork indicates that nickel recovery can be increased by using a combination of leaching and flotation methods. A high-grade magnesia product can be co-produced from leaching, purification, precipitation and roasting processes, which has the potential to add additional economic value. Further tests are still required for process flowsheet development.

Status of Suyeke Licence
New Era applied on April 16, 2018 to the Land and Resources Department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region for the renewal of the exploration license comprising the Suyeke property, which was expiring on June 2, 2018. At this point in time a renewal has not been issued and the Company is still waiting for a response to its application for renewal.

About New Era

New Era Minerals Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Haijin International Group Limited, owns 95% of Xinjiang Yongkun Mining Co., Ltd (“Yongkun”). Yongkun's principal activities are the exploration, evaluation and development of mineral property interests in the PRC, including Yongkun's 100%-owned Suyekebei (Suyeke North) nickel property located in Tuoli County, Tacheng Area, Xinjiang- Uyghur Autonomous Region, PRC.

For additional information please contact:

Vicky Gao, Corporate Secretary
gaoweishan@nemnemnem.com

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