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Nicola Mining Announces Up to Ten-Fold Copper Upgrading and Solid Copper Recovery from its Ore Sorting Testing

VANCOUVER, B.C. November 27, 2019 - Nicola Mining Inc. (the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has received positive assay results from ALS Metallurgy Laboratory (“ALS Lab”). The Company announced on March 29, 2019 that testing conducted at Tomra Sorting’s Test Center in Hamburg, Germany appeared to successfully separate copper ore[i] from waste rock based on sulphide and gravity parameters.   The ALS Lab results confirm the ability to ore sort with the Tertiary XRT sorter conveyor (“XRT Sorter”).  The results also highlight the potential of monetizing copper contained within the historical mine terraces at the Company’s wholly owned New Craigmont Copper Project (“Craigmont Project”).  A portion of the approximate 80-90 million-tonnes[ii], surrounding the Craigmont Mine pit contains copper and magnetite.


The TOMRA COM Tertiary XRT sorter conveyor utilises an X-ray transmission (“XRT”) sensor, to identify differences in atomic density between copper-containing mineralized material and waste material.   All 29 samples were separated into 8 unique tests and shipped from Germany to ALS Labs to confirm assay percentages, upgrading capabilities and Cu recovery.  


-          5 out of the 8 tests provided upgraded Cu grades of greater than 1% Cu with up to 50% Fe


The key parameter utilized in the testing was mass recovery, which is defined as the targeted percentage of material that the Company wishes to have remaining post separation.   A lower mass recovery percentage is correlated with increased upgrading percentage and lower recovery.  Lower mass recovery decreases copper recovery because lower percentage copper material maybe classified as waste; however, lower mass recovery increases upgrade percentage and lowers operating costs.  Thus, understanding the relationship between mass recovery, upgrading, and copper recovery is essential fo understanding the economic potential of the historic Craigmont mine terraces.  Samples were taken from two locations, the southern mine terraces (“Tower Sample”) and adjacent to Portal 3060 (“Portal Sample”) that are shaded blue and green, respectivelyFigure 1, below, highlights TOMRA COM Tertiary XRT sorter conveyor upgrade results:


Figure 1: Upgrade Percent and Recovery Results


Test Run

Mass Recovery

Upgrade Percent

Copper Recovery


































In addition to testing two specific locations the material was samples were screened into <2”>1”, <1”> ½” and < ½” fractions.  Any >2” material was coarse crushed and then screened.  The <2”>1” and <1”> ½” fractions were sent to Tomra, where they were tested using high and low selectivity settings for the XRT sensors.  The sorted products were returned to ALS Metallurgy for crushing, accurate sub-sampling and chemical analysesalso separated into three sizes:


-                        2 inches to 1 inch in diameter

-                        1 inch to ½ inch diameter

-                        Material that measured smaller than ½ inch in diameter (“Fines”).  


Two very important findings in the ALS Lab results include the following:


  1. Ability of the XRT Sorter to efficiently upgrade and provide high recovery on larger material.  Sorting larger material more than doubles throughput capability and decrease screen costs associated with production;


  1. Consistent Cu grades contained within the Fines.  The historic mine terraces are classified as copper skarn and are characteristically more brittle than host rock, so it was hypothesized that the Fines would contain elevated Cu grades.  It is also common to have higher grades in historic waste rock because reverse circular drilling does not as accurately capture finer material.  The consistent Cu grades within the Fines warrant additional testing in the future.


Of the 1353-kilogram Tower Sample, 86.4kg was classified as upgraded product, 754 kg as Fines and 513 kg was classified as waste.  Average Cu grades of the upgraded product was equal to 1.2% Cu and 19.1% Fe, see Figure 2.


Figure 2: Tower Sample Results



The aggregate Cu recovery percentage increases to 89.5% when including the Fines.   The average aggregate Cu grade is equivalent to 0.35%; however, there are no costs associated with mining as the material is currently stored in terraces. The Company is currently conducting floatation tests on the material to confirm mill recovery tests.  


Portal Sample Results were also encouraging; however, it should be noted that, although tested material samples weights are identical, the actual tonnage represented by the Tower Sample is far greater.  Upgrading proved very successful but recovery levels of the upgraded product was lower than the Tower Samples.  From the 1373-kilogram Portal Sample, 86.7 kg was classified as upgraded product, 540 kg as Fines and 748 kg as waste, Figure 3.


Figure 3: Portal Sample Results



Peter Espig, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “the positive assay results received from ALS Metallurgy Laboratory on the Tertiary XRT sorter conveyor material is very encouraging.  Given the historic material’s approximate 80-90 million tonnes and no direct mining costs associated with the extraction, the ability to upgrade material could add significant value to our project.  We are currently testing the material for copper and magnetite recovery and will issue the results once received.”


About Nicola Mining


Nicola Mining Inc. is a junior mining company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and is in the process of recommencing mill feed processing operations at its 100% owned state-of-the-art mill and tailings facility, located near Merritt, British Columbia. It has already signed six mill profit share agreements with high grade gold producers. The fully-permitted mill can process both gold and silver mill feed via gravity and flotation processes. The Company has an active gravel pit that is located adjacent to the milling operation, as well as 100% ownership of the high-grade silver Treasure Mountain property.


About New Craigmont Project


In November of 2015, Nicola became the first group in decades to consolidate ownership of the New Craigmont Project (the “Property”) and has been actively conducting mineral exploration since. The Property is a wholly-owned copper-iron property with an active mine permit (M-68), located 33 km south of the world-class Highland Valley porphyry district. It lies at the southern contact between the Nicola Group and Guichon Creek batholith, of which the latter is known to be a precursor intrusive event to mineralization at Highland Valley.


There are currently no NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimates on the Property. However, an estimated 60,000,000 tons of ore grading at >0.4% Cu is reported to have remained unmined in the mineralized hanging wall of the Sub level cave, due to a 0.7% Cu cut-off grade[iii]. Additionally, five zones of finely mineralized silicified ore (No. 3 type mineralization) is known, one of which is reported to contain an estimated 269,260 tons grading at 1.68% Cu3.


It should be noted that these historical estimates do not meet the requirements needed to conform to National Instrument 43-101 standards. The Company notes that an independent Qualified Person has not done sufficient work to verify and classify the historical estimates as current mineral resources and is therefore not treating the historical estimates as current mineral resources or mineral reserves. For further details on the Property, see the technical report entitled "TECHNICAL REPORT on the THULE COPPER – IRON PROPERTY, Southern British Columbia, Canada", filed on May 8, 2013 on Sedar at


About TOMRA Sorting Mining

TOMRA Sorting Mining designs and manufactures sensor-based sorting technologies for the global mineral processing and mining industries. As the world market leader in sensor-based ore sorting, TOMRA Sorting Mining is responsible for developing and engineering cutting-edge technology that is made to withstand harsh mining environments. TOMRA Sorting Mining maintains its rigorous focus on quality and future-oriented thinking with technology tailor-made for mining.


TOMRA Sorting Mining is part of TOMRA Sorting Solutions which also develops sensor-based systems for sorting, peeling and process analytics for the food, as well as the recycling and waste management industry.


TOMRA Sorting Mining is owned by Norwegian company TOMRA Systems ASA, which is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Founded in 1972, TOMRA Systems ASA has a turnover around €750m and employs over 3,500 people.


For more information on TOMRA Sorting Mining visit or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.


On behalf of the Board of Directors

Peter Espig


Peter Espig

CEO & Director


For additional information contact:


Peter Espig

Telephone: (778) 385-1213



Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.




[i] In this news release the word “ore” is used describe rock that is characteristic of copper mine grades; however, it cannot be assumed that it will be of a profitable grade at the Craigmont site.

[ii] Reference:  3D Surveys report dated June 27, 2016

[iii] Bristow, J.F. (Jul. 22, 1985) Internal memo: Continued Exploration at Craigmont Mines Limited’s Merritt   Property.


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