The company produced a dore bar as a pilot exercise using material from test spoil heaps on the Mineral Jackpot property, which is in Mineral County, Nevada.
The success of the trial proves the concept of being able to extract gold and silver from up to 12,000 tons of material available from 38 spoil heaps on the property, Great Western said.
An initial load of around 4mln tonnes of material was crushed and subsequently processed through a local laboratory. In parallel, analysis of a consignment of the same material is being treated and analysed in a laboratory in the UK to determine the optimum method for producing precious metals on a sustainable commercial basis; the first results of the analysis are expected later this month.
In addition to the spoil heaps at Mineral Jackpot, recent soil, rock and magnetometer surveys have doubled the known surface area of mineralisation and established previously unknown connectivity between the different mines. Great Western plans to follow the veins with new drilling as soon as an appropriate rig becomes available and weather conditions permit.
“Pouring first gold and silver is a significant event for your company and we are very pleased to have met our stated objective for 2020,” said Brian Hall, Great Western’s chairman in a statement.
“With the knowledge we have gained from this pilot exercise, which is still ongoing, and with first results from laboratory analysis due this month, we will be able to plan for commercial exploitation of precious metals as well as commence a new drill programme. We are well funded for our current requirements,” he added.