TSX-V-listed mining and exploration company Hudson Resources has announced the results of independent metallurgical testwork conducted on the high-grade Nukittooq niobium/tantalum project, in Greenland, which achieved a niobium concentrate assaying 55.3% niobium pentoxide (Nb2O5) at a 66.6% global recovery along with 65% tantalum.
A composite sample used in the metallurgical test programme assayed 22.3% Nb2O5 and 0.3% tantalum pentoxide. The composite sample was comprised of 35 samples collected from the Nukittooq project in September 2020, which averaged 19.35% Nb2O5 over 112 m. The Nukittooq deposit has some of the highest reported niobium assays in the industry.
“We are very encouraged by the success of the metallurgical programme and the ability to produce a very high-value niobium/tantalum concentrate with recoveries in line with or above current producers. Our goal is to define significant tonnage and rapidly advance the project where we can ship a concentrate out of Greenland for toll processing,” Hudson president Jim Cambon said.
“We will continue to advance the metallurgical programme and plan to commence a drill programme in 2022 to outline economic tonnages along the 500 m strike length of this exciting target.”
The testwork was conducted by technical and analytical testing services company SGS Canada in its Lakefield, Ontario facility under the supervision of Hudson Resources senior consulting metallurgist John Goode.
The metallurgical testwork demonstrated that gravity concentration showed limited effectiveness. However, the use of wet high intensity magnetic separators (WHIMS) together with a Mozley shaking table on the non-magnetic fraction showed some promise. A combined niobium concentrate assaying 55.6% Nb2O5 at 47.6% global recovery was produced.
Further, seven open-circuit flotation tests were performed on stage-ground and deslimed feed material. These tests examined several procedures, depressants and collectors.
SGS’s extensive experience with pyrochlore flotation allowed rapid development of a circuit comprising WHIMS for early rejection of aegirine followed by rougher flotation.
The rougher concentrate was divided into coarse and fine fractions and separate roughing and cleaning systems, using an amine collector applied to each stream. The combined niobium concentrate contained 55.3% Nb2O5 at 66.6% global recovery, Hudson said.
Hudson owns 100% of the high-grade Nukittooq niobium/tantalum project and the Sarfartoq rare earth element project, which are located on the Sarfartoq exploration licence in south-western Greenland. The Sarfartoq project has a National Instrument 43-101 indicated and inferred resource outlining 35 000 t of neodymium oxide plus praseodymium oxide, the two key components in permanent magnets driving the green revolution.