The Company received a high-quality technical report from SGS Canada showing encouraging metallurgical performance characteristics for the San Roque deposit, favorable gold extraction results for the more easily accessible oxide zones and the expectation to achieve smelter grade sulfide concentrates from the sulfide mineralization
Vancouver, BC, July 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- International Iconic Gold Exploration Corporation (“Iconic Gold” or the “Company”) (TSXV:ICON) (OTC:MFMLF) announces the receipt from SGS in Burnaby, Canada (“SGS”) of a final report entitled “An Investigation into Preliminary Metallurgical TestWork – San Roque Deposit” dated July 13, 2022 (the “Metallurgical Report”), which is a professional, complete and complex third-party document detailing early-stage bench-scale metallurgical testwork (the “Metallurgical Testwork”) results on drill core samples that adequately represent the geologic diversity of mineralization from the Company’s wholly owned, advanced exploration stage San Roque property (the “Property”) located in Northeast Patagonia near the Atlantic coast in the Province of Rio Negro, Argentina.
The primary objective of the Metallurgical Testwork was to ascertain the practicability of recovering the metallic minerals and metal elements, mainly gold, from the estimated inferred resource zones and varied geologic realms of San Roque deposit and report the finding in the Metallurgical Report.
Robert Abenante, CEO of Iconic Gold, summed up the report with the following: “Management and its technical consultants believe the Metallurgical Testwork objective has been expertly and successfully achieved. We interpret the extensive metallurgical testing results in the Metallurgical Report as being very positive overall for the current stage of the Property, and view them as a green light to move forward with continued exploration and evaluation of the Property.”
SGS has an 80-year history of metallurgical testing in Canada. The Metallurgical Report was initiated under contract late 2021, but COVID-19 related issues prevented adherence to normal timelines. Preparations and job characterizations leading into the 172 page Metallurgical Report are detailed in two prior Company news releases: the first is titled “Iconic Gold Engaged in San Roque Project Extractive Metallurgical Testing", dated November 16, 2021, and the second is titled “Iconic Gold Highlights its Current Resource Findings and Geometallurgical Program for San Roque”, dated November 29, 2021. The Company has also posted on its website and on SEDAR, the Property’s National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”) technical report titled, “Technical Report and Mineral Resource Estimate on the San Roque Project, Rio Negro Province, Argentina” with an effective date of September 10, 2019, authored by Tetra Tech Canada Inc. (“Tetra Tech”), a prominent, global geologic and engineering consulting firm.
The Company contracted Tetra Tech to independently select the samples for the Metallurgical Testwork as well as to oversee, guide and provide ongoing advice for and review of the Metallurgical Testwork results. Jianhui (John) Huang, Ph.D., P.Eng. and Senior Metallurgist at Tetra Tech with extensive practice in mineral processing, metallurgy and chemical engineering, led on overseeing the Metallurgical Testwork.
Dr. Huang offered his general assessment of the findings: “The test results indicate that the mineralized samples tested respond well to direct cyanidation, excluding the samples from the transition and sulfide zones of Zone 25 deposit. The sulfide samples respond reasonably well to the flotation concentration to produce lead and zinc concentrates. These Metallurgical Testwork results clearly justify carrying further metallurgical testwork to a more advanced level, especially the heap leach tests on the oxide samples.”
The Company provided SGS with 191 kilograms of San Roque drill core samples for the Metallurgical Testwork. This material consisted of 61 core splits of original assay sample run intervals that represent about 58 meters of quartered HQ size drill cores and were obtained from 19 widely spaced drill holes. These samples were independently selected by a Tetra Tech geologist in such a way so as to fairly represent the mineralization in all four separate estimated Inferred Mineral Resource zones as defined in the Property’s NI 43-101 report as well as the down hole oxide, transition oxide to sulfide, and sulfide (unoxidized) segments of each of those horizons as well as the varied rock types hosting mineralization. SGS appropriately blended the core samples into 13 composite samples and used those as feed for individual tests aimed at characterizing the extractive metallurgy of each of the oxide, translon and sulfide horizons. The intent of this geometallurgical program is to ultimately create a geologically based predictive modeling for the estimated Inferred Mineral Resource zones of the Property.
The layout of the four zones of mineralization as presented in the NI 43-101 report is displayed in the Company’s November 29, 2022 news release available on SEDAR (See Figure 1).
The Property accommodates a porphyry-scale low-sulphidation epithermal polymetallic mineral deposit in Jurassic age volcanics that is endowed primarily with gold and sulfides of lead, zinc and to a greatly lesser extent copper. The sulfide minerals are oxidized to an average depth of 38 meters which includes a 5 to 8 meter transition interval of partially oxidized sulfides.
Bottle roll cyanidation (leach retention time of 72 hours) of -10 mesh crushed oxidized material from two (Zone Griselda - Del Indio and Zone 51) of the four estimated inferred oxide resource zones representing 71.8% of the total estimated inferred oxide resource tonnage shows 86.3% gold recovery and 21.2% silver recovery with normal reagent consumption (0.16 kg/t NaCN + 0.95 kg/t CaO). The third estimated inferred oxide resource zone, Zone 25, showed recoveries of 65.6% for gold and 63.4% for silver, also with 33.2% for copper. Oxidized material from the fourth zone, Zone 34, was not tested. Management believes these results clearly show potential for Heap Leach precious metals recovery for the oxidized mineralization on the Property.
Some of the tested samples show that some of the gold may occur as fine-grained nugget gold.
Gravity concentration of all Metallurgical Testwork samples (oxide, transition and sulfide horizons from all four resource zones) produced an average concentrate grade of 107 g/t Au with 356 g/t Ag at average recoveries of 18.9% for the gold and 4.9% of the silver. Overall gold and silver recovery by combining their respective gravity recoveries with gravity tailing bottle roll cyanidation (at 80% passing 75 microns for a leach retention time of 48 hours) averages 88.2% for gold and 63.9% for silver.
Rougher flotation trial runs on all 13 of the metallurgical samples determined that the sulfides and their contained gold generally responded well to recovery by conventional flotation technology. It was, however, also established that the targeted base metals in the oxide horizon to not respond well to the flotation recovery. That finding effectively reduces the Property’s NI 43-101 estimated inferred resource for contained lead and zinc by approximately 15% and 10% respectively.
The open circuit cleaner froth flotation runs produced lead concentrates from Metallurgical Testwork samples representing the sulfide horizons of Zone Griselda – Del Indio, Zone 25 and Zone 51 averaging 55.5% Pb and 11.1% Zn with 86 g/t Au and 971 g/t Ag. The open circuit zinc concentrates from the same samples average 38.4% Zn and 5.1% Pb with 10.2g/t Au and 201 g/t Ag. The Metallurgical Report states: “There is likely opportunity for considerable improvements to the zinc flotation conditions with further optimization.”
More advanced metallurgical testing incorporating locked cycle flotation circuits is projected to produce salable lead concentrate (>55% Pb) and zinc concentrate (>45% Zn). The precious metals along with copper are expected to chiefly report to the lead concentrate.
Multi-element assay on the open circuit cleaner flotation concentrates shows that impurities in the concentrates are expected to be lower than the penalty thresholds set by most smelters.
Three samples were subjected to standard Bond ball mill grindability tests. Two (Del Indio Oxide and Del Indio Sulfide) were classified as being moderately hard (due to silicification alteration), with an average ball mill work index of 16.4 kWh/tonne and one (Zone 34 Sulfide) was found to be very hard. However, the very hard sample represents an estimated inferred resource zone of the deposit comprising only 2% of the overall estimated inferred sulfide resource tonnage of the Property. Notably, the potential mine site is close to high tension 500 KVA power lines of the National Grid, and would likely not have to rely on expensive on-site diesel power generation.
Three samples, including cyanidation leach residues and flotation tailings, were evaluated for acid generation potentials. All were found to be in the range for potentially generating acid drainage that would require neutralization. This is a normal characteristic of nearly all sulfide mineral deposits.
Mineralogical analyses (QEMSCAN DATA) identified the vanadium hydroxide mineral Mottramite in the oxidized samples, which has also recently been corroborated by other petrographic studies. It is probable that most of the lead and zinc values in the oxidized portions of the four estimated inferred resource zones are tied up in the Mottramite which is not amenable to cyanide leaching or conventional mill flotation recoveries. Vanadium is a valuable element and would reside in the spent leach residues after precious metal extraction. Management thinks that could become a valuable resource for the future as current industry metallurgical research shows promise for the economic processing recovery of vanadium hydroxides.
The technical information disclosed within this news release has been prepared by Richard R. Walters. He is a Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101. Mr. Walters is a certified Professional Geologist by the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG), holds a Legion of Honor Membership in the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), and is a licensed geologist in the State of Washington.
Additionally, metallurgist Dr. Jianhui Huang, P.Eng. has reviewed the technical information herein concerning the testwork.
ON BEHALF OF INTERNATIONAL ICONIC GOLD EXPLORATION CORP.
Robert Abenante, President & CEO
For further information regarding International Iconic Gold Exploration Corp., please refer to the Company’s filings available on SEDAR (http://www.sedar.com) or at ICON’s Website (http://www.iconicgold.com)
Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Information
Certain statements in this release are forward-looking statements, which reflect the expectations of management regarding the Company and the Property. Forward-looking statements consist of statements that are not purely historical, including any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future, including but not limited to, statements regarding: (i) the results, interpretations and expectations therefrom from the Company’s Metallurgical Testwork; (ii) any potential mineral value amounts or estimates as a resulting of the Metallurgical Testwork or their recovery; (iii) probable recovery methods to obtain any mineral deposits, in part or as a whole, located on the Property; (iv) the expectations of management with respect to the impurities in mineral concentrates locate on the Property; and (v) other general statements made by the Company regarding the intended exploration activities to be undertaken on the Property. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Such risks and other factors include the inability of the Company to execute its business plans and carry out planned future activities as presently contemplated, including those specific to its early-stage metallurgical test program currently being conducted on San Roque and, more specifically, its design, timeline, and anticipated findings. The novel strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, and ongoing dispute between the sovereign state of Ukraine and Russia also pose new risks that are currently indescribable and immeasurable. Other factors may also adversely affect the future results or performance of the Company, including general economic, market or business conditions, future prices of gold or other precious metals, changes in the financial markets and in the demand for gold or other precious metals, changes in laws, regulations and policies affecting the mineral exploration industry, and risks related to the Company’s investments and operations in the mineral exploration sector, as well as the risks and uncertainties which are more fully described in the Company’s annual and quarterly management’s discussion and analysis and other filings made by the Company with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities under the Company’s profile on SEDAR. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and, accordingly, are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements due to the inherent uncertainty of such statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and, unless required by applicable law, the Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in these forward-looking statements.
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