Quaterra Resources Inc. (QTA:TSX.V; QTRRF:OTCQX) reported in a news release recent testing showed that actual copper recoveries at its MacArthur open-pit, oxide-leach project in Nevada could be higher than the assumptions used in the 2012 preliminary economic assessment. As such, the company will now investigate this possibility.
For the recently completed sequential copper analysis, 65 samples were taken from the oxide zone and 133 were taken from the transitional (chalcocite, oxide and minor chalcopyrite) zone, for a total of 298 samples.
Those taken from the oxide zone averaged 74.5% solubility and those from the transitional zone averaged 79.9% solubility. The solubility of all of the samples combined averaged 77.1%. In terms of location, samples from the main MacArthur pit area had the highest solubility at an average of 78.6% whereas those from the deposit's northern area averaged 74.4% solubility.
"Today's results are encouraging," President and CEO Gerald Prosalendis said in the release.
These data will be incorporated into a resource block model and mine plan to optimize project economics and to further derisk and advance MacArthur toward a prefeasibility study. Additionally, a plan will be developed for additional drilling to obtain new samples for column test work to obtain further insight into copper recoverability through the heap-leach process.
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