Golden Metal investigating Pilot Mountain's garnet potential
Golden Metal Resources updated the market on its Pilot Mountain project in Nevada on Thursday, emphasising the potential of its tungsten resource and unveiling new findings around the presence of industrial mineral garnet.
The AIM-traded firm said Pilot Mountain, positioned in the prolific Walker Lake Mineral Belt, hosts what it asserted to be the largest undeveloped tungsten resource in the US, as per the mineral resource estimate of 12.53 million tonnes at 0.27% tungsten trioxide, coupled with notable copper-silver-zinc credits, established in 2018.
It said recent exploration efforts in 2023 identified five promising target areas, suggesting the likelihood of expanded in-ground resources beyond current estimates.
Golden Metal said it conducted a technical review using historical drilling logs and metallurgical test reports, indicating that about 40% of mineralised intervals within known deposit areas comprised industrial mineral garnet.
The company said it estimated a substantial quantity of garnet within Pilot Mountain, subject to formal studies.
Notably, historical data suggested the prevalent presence of Andradite and Grossular garnet species, with imported garnet trading at an average price of $190 per tonne and domestic garnet commanding a premium price of $220 per tonne in 2023.
While its previous focus was centred on the recoverability of tungsten, copper, silver and zinc, Golden Metal said it recognised the potential economic significance of garnet within the project.
As a result, it was in the process of appointing a garnet specialist to conduct a comprehensive market and project-specific analysis.
Moreover, preparations were underway for drill permit applications, which would include various exploratory and infill drill pad locations, pending submission to the local Bureau of Land Management office.
“I believe that Pilot Mountain has taken another significant, yet unexpected, step forward as the potential scale of the contained garnet and its potential impact on future project economics is becoming apparent,” said chief executive officer Oliver Friesen.
“Whilst it is the tungsten mineral resource estimate and its potential scalability that excites us most about Pilot Mountain, especially given tungsten is on the United States critical minerals list, all recoverable materials have the potential to supplement future overall project economics.
“The potential economic implications cannot be understated, not only because it could represent a fifth recoverable and saleable product from Pilot Mountain, but also for several other factors.”
Friesen said that, subject to commissioning appropriate studies, the company considered it likely that the garnet could be recovered via gravity or magnetic separation methods before the grinding and flotation stages, “significantly decreasing” the wear and tear on the overall processing circuit and thus potential operating costs.
“The findings to date are very positive, and we look forward to working with a garnet market specialist as we start the process of better understanding the broader implications the contained garnet has on the project economics and on our business as a whole.”
At 1312 GMT, shares in Golden Metal Resources were down 1.47% at 13.06p.
Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.
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