Bullabulling Gold has said that the preliminary metallurgical test work at its gold project in Western Australia, has identified a potential for reducing costs.

The Australia-based miner said that testing carried out as part of its definitive feasibility study has identified the potential for reducing processing reagent consumption and increasing gold recovery, relative to pre-feasibility study estimates, with positive implications for cash production costs.

The reagents are estimated to exceed $30m a year or $170 an ounce of gold mined, when the company compiled its preliminary feasibility study.

"More definitive work is required to validate the results."

Comparative leach tests were carried out using raw and nanofiltered water extracted from an existing bore field on site, which reduced the consumption of lime during leach tests by 64% in comparison to unfiltered water, and reduced cyanide consumption by 26%.

Bullabulling said it increased gold recovery from its pre-feasibility level more than anticipated by leaving the leaching solution in the ore for 48 hours instead of 24 hours.

The company said that while test work is positive, it must be noted that it is based on a limited number of tests and more definitive work is required to validate the results.

The next phase of metallurgical testing will include nanofiltration, pre-leach gravity concentration, leach residence time and optimum leach circuit testing.

The programme, which is anticipated to be completed by mid May, will allow important decisions on process flowsheet design to be finalised.

Additional variability testing on mineralised samples from throughout the deposit will be required to achieve full definitive feasibility study standards.

The current phase of the study will require additional diamond drilling to be undertaken to provide the necessary core samples, which is planned for the second quarter of the year.

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