Benchmarking Shows Rönnbäcken Performs Better Than Other Nickel Ores
IGE Resources AB's (OSE: IGE) subsidiary Nickel Mountain Resources AB is
pleased to present the results of EMC's benchmarking analysis of its
100% owned Rönnbäcken Nickel Project in Northern Sweden demonstrating
better process performance against other nickel ores worldwide.
· Rönnbäcken delivers similar or higher rates of nickel recovery
despite its low head grade.
· Given its low head grade overall flotation performance of Rönnbäcken
is better than that of other nickel ores.
· An absence of iron sulphides avoids dilution of concentrate grade
thus allowing a higher level of optimal flotation performance to be
· The flotation response of the Rönnbäcken samples as measured by the
concentration ratio is over 9 times higher than the average of similar
· Rönnbäcken has a high measure of flotation performance with a
recovery to head grade ratio almost 5 times higher than the average of
similar nickel ores.
· Aspects identified for further mineralogical and processing
investigation could increase recoveries by 3-6%.
· A number of areas were highlighted for optimization to reduce
capital expenditure and operating costs.
Eurus Mineral Consultants (EMC) was engaged by Nickel Mountain in June
2012 to conduct benchmarking analysis of Rönnbäcken drill core samples
against other nickel ores world-wide. Since 1985 EMC has specialised in
the simulation, optimisation and design of plant flotation performance
from laboratory scale test work. The methodology has been verified over
120 times for a wide variety of ores and circuit configurations.
Currently some seven production float plants designed from laboratory
flotation tests are in operation and performing as per simulation and
many other operating plants have been optimised. The methodology is
based on flotation kinetics of mineral and gangue which are the driving
forces of flotation performance. EMC reviewed all flotation test data
for the Rönnbäcken deposits Vinberget and Rönnbäcknäset and compared
their flotation kinetics and performance against a number of nickel ores
world-wide. Through this process, the distinctive characteristics of
these Rönnbäcken mineralizations are better understood leading to
identification of further improvements which may be made.
Rönnbäcken is unusual in that nickel flotation performance during
Outotec's mini pilot plant trials at GTK, Finland, was exceptionally
good delivering an average sulphide recovery of 75.3% in a high grade
concentrate assaying 23.6% nickel despite a low head grade of about
0.128% sulphide nickel (0.18% total nickel). Moreover, the best result
achieved was 79.9% recovery at 22.3% nickel.
These results were been obtained with only minimal optimisation of
process conditions. Furthermore, Rönnbäcken is characterised by trace
amounts of the iron sulphides pyrite and pyrrhotite, which is
advantageous for generating optimal flotation efficiency. These iron
sulphide minerals are common in nickel sulphide deposits world-wide,
typically averaging 1.6% and 10.4% respectively, and have a significant
diluting effect on concentrate grade because of their similar flotation
characteristics to nickel sulphide minerals.
The flotation response of an ore is measured by the concentration ratio
which is concentrate grade divided by head grade. Benchmarking against
other similar nickel ores world-wide in Canada, Europe, Southern Africa
and Australia gives an average head grade of 0.57%Ni, recovery of 72.5%
and concentrate grade of 10.5%Ni with a concentration ratio of 18.4. In
comparison, Rönnbäcken's concentration ratio is 215.
Another benchmarking metric measuring flotation performance is recovery
per percent of head grade. Other nickel ores average 127 whilst
Rönnbäcken averages 685. This is similar to values obtained with low
grade, mineralogically clean chalcopyrite copper ores, which are known
for their high degree of mineral-gangue liberation. The latter is a
prerequisite for good flotation performance. Rönnbäcken possesses a
Based on the benchmarking analysis EMC has identified and recommended
further mineralogical and processing aspects to be investigated aimed at
optimization of recoveries and improving project economics, including:
· The production of multiple concentrates aimed at increasing recovery
by up to 4% exploiting Rönnbäcken's high degree of mineral-gangue
liberation (similar to mineralogically clean PGM ores in South Africa
where the "two-concentrate" process has improved recovery by up to 4% by
manipulating the difference in floatability between slow floating
mineral and slow floating gangue).
· Regrinding of cleaner tailings to enhance the differential between
slow floating nickel and slow floating gangue.
· Two-stage milling incorporating flash flotation.
· Innovative and production-scale proven classification and flotation
technologies such as pneumatic flotation and mechanical classification
in the milling circuit, which are expected to reduce unit capital and
operating costs, in a high-tonnage environment. Pneumatic flotation is
particularly suited to recovering fine liberated mineral and will be
tested to treat the 10-15% of nickel in fresh feed to the plant that is
currently lost in cleaner tailings as fine, liberated particles of
-20µm. Overall recovery is expected to increase by 3-5% (typical from
· Change reagents and conditions, optimise pH in the cleaners,
tailings management and environmental issues.
· Characterise different types of mineralization and explore the
impact of mixing of different types of mineralization.
· Develop a geo-metallurgical model.
· Reduce MgO in final concentrate.
· Pilot plant campaigns to test the process and innovative technology.
Founded by Mr. Martyn Hay, EMC offers specialist milling and flotation
consulting services to the mining industry world-wide. Since 1985, EMC
has specialised in the simulation, optimisation and design of plant
flotation performance from laboratory scale test work using its
proprietary SUPASIM® flotation simulation program and its extensive
database of milling and flotation operations, and laboratory and pilot
test data to characterise client ores and predict plant performance. EMC
has also developed commercially available software, KinCalc®, for
determining flotation kinetics from laboratory and pilot rate test data.
The company has produced over 300 reports focussed on platinum group
metals, base metal sulphides, pyrite/gold, furnace slag, tailings dams
and cassiterite for clients in Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada,
Finland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Zambia, DRC and Zimbabwe
Mr. Martyn Hay, BSc Mineral Processing, MSc Operational Research, has
reviewed and approved the content of this press release that relates to
work undertaken and results produced by Eurus Mineral Consultants. Mr.
Hay is principal and founder of Eurus Mineral Consultants, is a
registered Professional Engineer in South Africa and a Fellow of the
Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
This press release contains or refers to forward-looking information,
including statements regarding estimates and/or assumptions about
potential mineralization, potential mineral resources as well as
assumptions on operational and permit conditions. This information is
based on current expectations that involve a number of business risks
and uncertainties. Actual results may vary from the forward-looking
information contained herein.
The Company provides this information to shareholders and analysts
because they are the key drivers of the business. Readers are cautioned
that this information may not be appropriate for other reasons. The
Company updates its Forward-looking Information as material information
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any
forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, the
possibility that actual circumstances will differ from the estimates and
assumptions used in the potential of the Rönnbäcken Nickel Project, the
environmental and social cost of proceeding with any of the projects,
uncertainty relating to the availability and costs of financing needed
in the future, general business and economic conditions, inflation,
changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices, delays in
the development of projects, changes in legislation governing emissions
into the air and water, waste, and the impact of future legislation and
regulations on expenses, capital expenditures and taxation and other
risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry. When
used in this press release, words such as "schedule", "could", "plan",
"anticipate", "estimate", "expect", "believe", "intend", "may" and
similar expressions are forward-looking information.
The use of the word 'ore' in the text above is a general reference to
other ores and does not apply to the Rönnbäcken Nickel Project, which at
this present time only consists of mineral resources.
This forward-looking Information represents the views as of the date of
this press release. The company anticipates that subsequent events and
developments may cause its views to change.
For more specific information with regard to Nickel Mountain and this
press-release, please contact:
CEO Nickel Mountain Resources AB
Phone: +46 8 402 28 00 / Mobile: +46 762 35 32 60
For general information with regard to IGE Resources, please contact:
CFO and acting CEO, IGE Resources AB
Phone: +46 8 402 28 00 / Mobile: +46 70 552 26 22
IGE Resources AB (publ) is a Scandinavian asset management and
development company within natural resources. IGE's portfolio currently
consists of several diamond exploration and production assets in
Southern Africa and Nickel Mountain Resources AB (publ) owning
Scandinavia's largest nickel deposit. IGE is headquartered in Stockholm
and its shares are listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (ticker: IGE).
Please refer to
www.ige.se (http://media.ne.cision.com/l/eavxxcwg/www.ige.se/) for mor