Happy Creek's Fox Tungsten Returns 70% W03 in Premium Gravity Concentrate
December 11, 2013 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Happy Creek Minerals Ltd. (TSX-V:HPY, the "Company") announces results from preliminary metallurgical work conducted on its 100% owned Fox tungsten property.
The Fox property is located approximately 75 kilometres northeast of 100 Mile House in the south central Cariboo region of British Columbia, Canada. Trenching and/or drilling in three areas that span a distance of three kilometres have discovered high tungsten grades over considerable thickness that are at or near surface. Drill highlights from this new discovery include 7.35 metres of 1.22% tungsten (W03), 19.4 metres of 0.82% tungsten, 11.0 metres of 0.80% tungsten, 20.0 metres of 0.63% tungsten, 24.7 metres of 0.68% tungsten and 22.0 metres of 0.76% tungsten at the RC zone. One kilometer to the south at the BN prospect, F12-27 returned three intervals: 4.1 metres of 1.78% tungsten, 14.8 metres of 4.0% tungsten and 24.0 metres of 0.79% tungsten including 5.8 metres of 2.01% tungsten (Refer to Press Release dated November 19, 2012 and September 9, 2013). Looking selectively at very high grades, to date 28 drill intervals have returned a weighted average of 3.0 metres grading 2.33% tungsten.
During 2012, 816 kg of rock was collected from the trenches at the BN, RC and BK zones. The samples were submitted to Met-Solve Laboratories Inc. of Langley, B.C., for initial mineralogy and metallurgical investigation. The composite sample used for the test work graded 0.95% tungsten and 0.26% zinc.The test sample was processed first by removing zinc using flotation, and followed by gravity concentration of tungsten using spirals and tables. The first pass gravity circuit recovered an average 59.3% of the tungsten into a concentrate with 43.3% W03. Importantly, this simple first stage testing does not include the up-grading and recovery benefits of subsequent cleaning, recycling and tungsten flotation that is done in locked cycle testing. The results include a 70% W03 product from the coarse cleaner concentrate that exceeds published commercially viable grades. For reference, 70.0% W03 contains 700 kg W03 per tonne of concentrate and tungsten prices for concentrate are currently around CAN$35.0/kg W03.
In addition, a primary zinc cleaner concentrate yielded 18.4% zinc, 4.04 g/t gold, 156.0 g/t silver and 66.0 g/t indium, recovering 68.9% of the zinc in less than1% mass yield. These preliminary results indicate that the zinc and associated gold, silver and indium values could potentially be recovered and upgraded in subsequent cleaning stages.
Met Solve Laboratories reports "The results indicate that excellent upgradeability as a high grade tungsten product can be obtained" and "The next phase of test work should be done to determine attainable grade and recoveries with recycle streams via locked cycle testing".
David Blann, P.Eng, President and CEO of Happy Creek states "We are pleased to see this very positive response from an initial, simple gravity concentration circuit and the opportunity for a by-product with zinc, precious metals and indium. With these tests being successful, we can look forward to continue advancing this new, top tier tungsten discovery."
Collection of the test sample was performed by drilling and non-ex blasting of trenches from the BN, RC and BK zones. Twenty six samples were collected into large rice bags that totaled 816 kg, or roughly 31kg per sample. All samples were fully crushed and a sample analyzed. The metallurgical sample was selected from variable weight splits of 15 of the samples totaling 255 kg .This sample returned characteristics including a target grind size of 91 micron particle size, a Bond work index of 12.7 KWhr/tonne, and a process approach to employ flotation of zinc first, then concentrate the tungsten in the remainder using Falcon spiral and MAT (Met-Solve Analytical Table) to concentrate tungsten (scheelite mineral) by gravity. At the current stage of the Fox property, the metallurgical sample is not meant to be a final or representative sample of the entire project, but to provide preliminary mineral and metallurgical data to support further economic consideration and direct future exploration strategies on the property. Analytical results from the twenty six samples obtained from the surface trenches are presented below.
Fox Trench Samples
A locked cycle test is a series of repetitive batch tests (cycles) to simulate the operations of a continuous process in which intermediate-grade materials are recycled upstream. Depending on the sensitivity of the separation, when equilibrium is reached in two or more cycles the test is said to be 'locked' or 'balanced.' Cleaning of an initial concentrate product means removing unwanted material to effect an increase in grade of the concentrate. For tungsten particles too small to be captured by a gravity circuit, flotation is commonly used to increase recovery and produces an additional concentrate product. These tests are normally involved in design of a final mill flow sheet. Work done to date on the Fox has allowed a locked cycle flow sheet to be developed for the next testing stage. The Company plans to perform these additional tests once the Fox tungsten deposits are more completely drilled off and more knowledge is obtained on the grade distribution, mineralogy and geology.