Solitario Zinc (Solitario; NYSE American:XPL;TSX:SLR) is pleased to announce that is has initiated metallurgical testing to determine the potential to recover silver at its recently acquired Lik zinc project in Alaska. The Lik resource, besides being a high-grade zinc deposit, contains a significant silver inventory that averages about 50 grams per tonne silver. Metallurgical testing to date has focused on the recovery of zinc and lead with virtually no work conducted on silver recovery.
In the 2014 Lik PEA, the economic model assumed less than 5% silver recovery in the zinc and lead concentrates combined. With approximately 29.1 million ounces of silver in the Indicated Resource category, and another 6.5 million ounces in the Inferred Resource category, there is potential for a significant benefit to project economics if silver recoveries can be improved.
Chris Herald, President and CEO of Solitario, commented:
We are excited about the potential to increase the recovery of a significant portion of this large inventory of silver contained in the high-grade Lik zinc deposit. The metallurgical program will involve a series of tests to determine if silver can be recovered either within a floatation product or by standard cyanidation methods.
We believe there is only upside potential to this test program as the current economic modeling of the project estimated less than 5% payable silver recoveries.