Ore sorted at Panton

RESULTS of bulk ore sorting and flotation optimisation and repeatability test work at the Panton platinum group metals and nickel mine have given Future Metals confidence the 6.9 million ounce resource can be turned into a low capital, high margin operation.

 Panton portal

Panton portal

Located 50km from Halls Creek in Western Australia's Kimberley, Panton is considered the highest grade PGM resource in the country.

Bulk ore sorting showed a recovery rate of 97% of high-grade PGM bearing ore and rejection of low-grade material and waste.

That improved mill feed grade by 11% and reduced mass 13%.

Tests also established flotation repeatability, with consistent metallurgical PGM recoveries averaging 78%.

Future Metals managing director Jardee Kininmonth said tests had given the company a credible metallurgical solution to put it firmly on the development pathway.

"Optimisation and variability flotation test work has demonstrated highly repeatable results with strong recoveries at high concentrate grades [and] the ore sorting results are significant, as it is the key to increasing mineable tonnes while ensuring the ore reporting to the mill is high grade," he said.

"This allows for increased economies of scale within the mine, utilising conventional underground mining methods, while decreasing processing plant capital costs by increasing the grade of the mill feed, with negligible losses of high-grade ore."

Kininmonth said discussions had also progressed with potential technology partners for a low-capital downstream integration option at Panton.

He said that would allow for production of high-margin metals products while decreasing the emissions profile associated with those products.

"Thereby differentiating Panton from the majority of South African and Russian producers, which use coal-fired power and generate other emissions such as sulphur dioxide," Kininmonth said.

"Downstream processing also closely aligns Panton with the Australian government's critical minerals strategy, which incentivises onshore upgrading and development of strategically important deposits such as Panton."

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