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Petrography & Metallurgy

We work with some of the best to produce novel solutions to scientific questions … 
  • Partnering with labs to undertake project specific studies
  • Specializing in “Early Stage Metallurgical Studies”; testing work undertaken during early fieldwork / drilling programs to categorize a deposit and to help make better planning decisions based on results (partnering with SGS Labs)
  • Processing of samples to create thin sections, with subsequent analysis and write ups (partnering with Precision Petrographics)
  • We can blend these services with our 360-imagery to create a complete and interactive data compilation for your samples

Introducing ESME

What is ESME?

We worked with SGS Labs in 2018 to create an Early Stage Metallurgical (ESME) test that was cost effective and would give our clients a deeper and clearer understanding of their project geology.

What does ESME provide?

Samples of drill core or surface rock samples are run through several tests at the lab to provide a suite of information. This includes:

  • Quantitative assays of elements within sample
  • Comprehensive mineralogy using QEMSCAN technology
  • Recovery rates of precious / base metals using a combination of gravity, flotation and cyanide leaching
When do you use ESME?

ESME tests can be undertaken at any stage of an exploration project, but we have found it is a great tool to use early on (i.e. in year one or two) to consolidate understanding.

What are some of the benefits?

ESME has produced many benefits for clients and geologists alike:

  • A comprehensive list of minerals from QEMSCAN studies establishes a species list for future logging and field activities, keeping interpretations tight
  • Deepens the understanding of where precious / base metal content is within the mineral matrix. Establishes primary minerals and alteration regimes.
  • Can identify phases of mineralization, alteration or general formation within an ore zone which helps with targeting.
  • De-risks a project: having a model with high recoverability is more attractive to investors and streamlines expenditures.
  • Can help with permitting and social licence aspects, as the project has a more solid foundation to proceed over pure exploration which can be seen as destructive / disruptive to the environment and communities. 
What else should I know?

ESME is a cost effective solution that has been designed to fit within budgets of early stage exploration projects. 

Studies can be completed using around 20 kilogram of sample This can be from outcrop, combined drill core or blended coarse reject material.

Depending on demand and time of year, testing usually is completed in 4 to 6 weeks.

99.5% Gold Recovery

Hive collected samples from two sites on the Merit Property, a project site in southern British Columbia and part of Independence Golds’ portfolio.

We had encountered high grades from these veins – up to 9.5g/t gold – during reconnaissance mapping. These were obvious targets for future drilling, but the formation of these veins was poorly understood, as well as the occurrence of the gold because the veins were largely devoid of sulphides.

Material was collected from the veins and sent to SGS Labs for processing. ESME showed that although the veins appeared devoid of sulphides, during gravity separation it became apparent that there was a range of minerals such as chalcopyrite and arsenopyrite which were significant. Gold existed in its native state, or blended with silver to produce electrum. Silver was also present as acanthite or with a range of telluride minerals. None of these identifications would have been possible in the field due to the extremely fine nature of the minerals.

Metallurgical testing comprised of gravity separation, flotation and then a final cyanide “bottle roll” leach test. The end result was that 99.5% of the gold and 95.1% of the silver was recoverable using these methods.

For the client this gave them assurance that should exploration continue and develop a resource, the gold was recoverable and that exploration expenditures were valid and warranted. Investors, shareholders and permitting agents appreciate these studies as it helped to de-risk future work programs. Understanding the associated mineralogy has allowed geologists to target using pathfinder elements in soil and other surface samples. As this was all completed in the first year on the property, the results from this ESME study will have a major bearing on how subsequent exploration work will be undertaken.