Column leach tests to investigate gold recoveries on coarse fraction ore and minimal or no crushing currently underway
Toronto, Ontario -- November 3rd, 2009 -- Lydian International Ltd. (TSX:LYD) ("Lydian" or "the Company"), a diversified mineral exploration and development company, today announced first results from its 2009 heap leach amenability test work at its Amulsar gold discovery in Armenia.
An initial gold recovery test program was conducted at SGS Lakefield in 2008 (release August 13, 2008). Heap leach simulations (performed using coarse ore bottle roll tests) indicated that the ore is highly amenable to heap leaching. Whole ore cyanidation gold recoveries on half and quarter inch crush bulk samples were reported to be 95-97%.
This year's testing, currently being conducted by SGS Minerals Services UK Ltd, has focused on coarser fractions and lower cyanide solution concentrations than previous test work and includes column leach tests which are being conducted on very large fraction half-drill core to simulate minimal or no crushing.
The test work is in progress on three master composites of half drill core samples from different parts of the Tigranes and Artavasdes areas. The composites are differentiated by alteration style, and gold and multi-element distribution. The three composites have head grades ranging from 1.09 to 1.29 g/t Au.
Metallic screens of the composites shows that > 98% of the gold has a size fraction less than 106 microns. The results confirm the observations made in previous work indicating that a gravity concentration step is not warranted with no significant coarse gold component present.
Two different size fractions, 75 microns and 2mm, were used for bottle roll tests. All tests showed high levels of gold extraction reaching a minimum of 80% recovery of gold to leachate after 24-48 hours. Final extractions for all three samples at both sizes tested were in the range of 89-95% after the full 14-day test period. Cyanide consumption is very low in all tests (0.05 to 0.11 %).
"These results continue to amplify the attractive economics of the Amulsar project; bulk mining of low-grade ore with a leach operation requiring only a minor crush or perhaps even no crushing at all are feasible. We look forward to the results of the column leach tests on a 38mm size fraction that are currently underway. All-in-all it appears as though Amulsar is shaping to be a low-cost mining and processing operation".
The Amulsar group of licenses is 95% owned by Lydian's wholly owned Armenian subsidiary (Geoteam CJSC). The project is currently being explored as part of a joint venture with Newmont Overseas Exploration Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM). The joint venture is a 50%-50% contribution. Newmont has two options to increase its interest. The first is an option to earn a further 20% by funding the project through to feasibility; the second option allows Newmont to earn a further 10% by funding through to commercial production. At commercial production Lydian is to pay back its "share" of funds plus interest, advanced by Newmont from 85% of its share of dividends and distributions.
About Lydian International
Lydian is a diversified mineral exploration and development company with expertise employing "first mover" strategies in emerging exploration environments. Currently Lydian is focused on Eastern Europe developing advanced precious and base metal assets in Armenia and in Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244). The two main projects are gold at Amulsar in Armenia, and zinc, lead, silver and gold at Drazhnje in Kosovo. Lydian also has a pipeline of promising gold and base metal exploration projects in the Balkans and Caucasus regions, and operates a 50/50 gold and copper exploration joint venture with Newmont Overseas Exploration Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation in the south Caucasus region.
Lydian's management team has a track record of success in grassroots discovery, in acquiring and developing undervalued assets, and in building companies. Lydian has a strong social agenda and a unique understanding of the complex social and political issues that characterise emerging environments. The Company's three largest shareholders are the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, Newmont Mineral Holdings B.V. (owned by Newmont Mining Corporation), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). More information can be found on Lydian's web site at www.lydianinternational.co.uk.
Dr Tim Coughlin, MAusIMM; is the Qualified Person overseeing Lydian's exploration programmes. Dr. Coughlin has supervised the preparation of the technical information contained in this press release.
Lydian employees are instructed to follow standard operating and quality assurance procedures intended to ensure that all sampling techniques and sample results meet international reporting standards. All assay work for the released results was carried out by ALS Chemex analytical laboratory in Rosia Montana, Romania, in Perth Australia, or in Vancouver, BC. Please see Lydian's web site for more information.