Astral Mining Corporation

Astral Mining Corporation

February 02, 2010 09:01 ET

Astral Announces Encouraging Metallurgical Testwork on Drill Samples From Jumping Josephine

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 2, 2010) - Astral Mining Corporation (TSX VENTURE:AA)(TSX VENTURE:AA.WT)(PINK SHEETS:AAMJF) ("Astral" or "the Company") is pleased to report results of preliminary metallurgical testwork on three composite samples from the Jumping Josephine Gold Property, Southern British Columbia. First-pass flotation, gravity concentration and cyanide leach methods were all successful at recovering gold. Flotation tests averaged 98% gold recovery, combined gravity and leach tests averaged 94% gold recovery and whole ore leach tests averaged 86% gold recovery with the medium and high grade whole ore leach composites averaging 97% gold recovery. Significant additional testing is recommended to evaluate metallurgical behaviour at different grind sizes and test variability from within the mineralized zone. Astral is very encouraged by the gold recoveries achieved from the preliminary testwork.

Testwork was conducted by G&T Metallurgical Services Ltd. of Kamloops, British Columbia and was designed to provide a preliminary indication of Jumping Josephine's amenability to standard modern gold extraction methods. This work represents a small scale, early stage study on three samples totalling 100 kilograms(kg) of mineralized material from the JJ Main stockwork zone. Results from the study will help to aid in selection of a suitable flowsheet for treating mineralized material during bulk sample processing and will form a basis for further metallurgical testwork. The completion of a 10,000 tonnes(t) bulk sample permit application at Jumping Josephine is underway.

Discussion of Testwork

Low, medium and high grade composites were sourced from coarse reject material stored at Astral's Castlegar facility, having been returned from earlier analyses on halved HQ-sized drill core. Samples were selected from specific drill intervals to best reflect three levels of mineralization observed in the JJ Main stockwork zone. The low-grade composite (0.6 grams per tonne (g/t) gold) was composed of weakly quartz veined intervals with generally <1% sulphide mineralization, medium (3.3 g/t gold) and high-grade (12.0 g/t gold) composites were drawn from strongly quartz veined stockwork intervals with up to 5% sulphides including arsenopyrite and sphalerite. Visible gold flakes have been observed in intervals similar to the ones sampled to make the high-grade composite.

Characterization of Samples

Testwork was completed on three samples, low (0.6 g/t gold), medium (3.3 g/t gold) and high-grade (12.0 g/t gold). Head grade assay work was completed on duplicate samples from each of the three composites by screened metallic analysis using a 150 micron screen. Medium and high-grade samples returned a high level of screen oversize gold indicating the presence of coarse gold. Additional assays were conducted on four size fractions from each composite. Sizing work from the medium and high-grade samples showed elevated gold in the 0.42-0.82 millimeter size fraction whereas the low-grade sample showed a more uniform distribution.

A Bulk Mineral Analysis (BMA) was conducted using QEMSCAN technology on a single sample from the medium grade composite indicating approximately 2% sulphide minerals (1.14% arsenopyrite, 0.69% pyrite and 0.1% sphalerite). The host rock was composed primarily of quartz (57.0%), muscovite (22.2%) and feldspars (15.1%).

Bond Ball Mill Work Index Test was conducted on the Medium Grade sample and returned a Work Index of 17.2 kw-hr/tonne.

Metallurgical Testwork

A single rougher flotation test was completed at the bench scale using 2kg charges from each of the three composites. Gold recoveries of between 97.6% and 98.7% in rougher concentrates containing 7-8% of the feed mass were recorded from the three samples at a primary grind size of 150 microns. Concentrates from the low and medium grade composites assayed 11.6g/t and 28.4g/t gold respectively and would probably require upgrading before sale. In addition, silver and arsenic both reported to the rougher concentrates. The levels of arsenic may affect concentrate quality and further testwork is required to determine if flotation would be a suitable method for processing the JJ Main ore.

Gravity concentration and cyanidation tests were conducted on 4kg samples from each of the three composites. A Knelson concentrate was produced and upgraded by panning. Knelson and pan tails were then combined and leached with cyanide. Gravity recoveries of 74% and 74.4% were returned from the medium and high grade samples with the low grade composite returning 39.5%. Total gold recoveries from gravity and leached tails were 85.1% from low grade, 97.7% from medium grade and 99% from the high grade composite.

Bottle roll tests returned 63.4%, 96.0% and 98.6% recoveries over 48 hours from the low, medium and high-grade composites, respectively.

Composite samples used in this study were derived from coarse reject material returned from previously analysed HQ diamond core intervals. Samples comprising the three composites were labeled and bagged under the supervision of Astral's Project Geologist Dale Brittliffe, P.Geo., a Qualified Person as defined in National Instrument 43-101. Samples were submitted to G & T Metallurgical Services Ltd at 2957 Bowers Place, Kamloops, B.C., Canada. Testwork was conducted and reviewed by G & T's professionally accredited metallurgical engineers and geoscientists. The resulting report entitled "Metallurgical Assessment of the Jumping Josephine Deposit, Astral Mining Corporation KM2397" is posted on Astral's website at this link.

Astral has earned a 60% interest in the JJ Project from Kootenay Gold Inc. and has an option to earn the remaining 40% (see December 16th 2009 news release).

Astral Mining Corporation is a Canadian company engaged in the exploration and development of precious metal properties in North America. By focusing on exploration in mining-friendly districts, the Company minimizes the political and social risks encountered in many other parts of the world. With a new gold discovery at the Company's Jumping Josephine Gold Project in Southern British Columbia and an experienced technical team and seasoned management, Astral is poised to leverage this expertise into early exploration success. Further details on Astral Mining Corporation and its high-quality portfolio of exploration projects can be found at


Mr. Manfred Kurschner, President & CEO

Astral Mining Corporation

Cautionary Note to US Investors: This news release may contain information about adjacent properties on which we have no right to explore or mine. We advise U.S. investors that the SEC's mining guidelines strictly prohibit information of this type in documents filed with the SEC. U.S. investors are cautioned that mineral deposits on adjacent properties are not indicative of mineral deposits on our properties. This news release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.

2010 Number 03

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or the accuracy of this release.

Contact Information