Comprehensive plant scale trials show + 2% V2O5 concentrate can be produced using simple beneficiation processes. Excellent mass recovery across mineralised intervals, which increases to + 40% in higher grade zones (+ 1.0% V2O5, refer ASX Announcements 14 Jan 2019, 29 Jan 2019, 18 Mar 2019 and 5 Aug 2019).
Beneficiation produces a superior, high quality concentrate consistent in vanadium and titanium content throughout the mineralised intervals, with analysis showing low levels of silica and alumina. A high grade concentrate means less waste is present to interfere in downstream processing.
Concentrate produced from recent drill samples is being used in studies to assess which technologies and processing options are most appropriate for the vanadiferous titanomagnetite concentrate produced from Steelpoortdrift with the purpose of determining the optimum method, or combination of methods of downstream processing, that deliver the highest value for the Company. Development of a viable processing flowsheet would enable the Company to unlock significantly higher value from the commodities present within the Steelpoortdrift concentrate and transform VR8 into a producer of high value specialist products suitable for the steel, renewable energy and industrial minerals markets.
These studies, and subsequent studies, will compare conventional downstream processing methods such as the salt roasting method already used in South Africa at Bushveld’s Vametco Operations and Glencore’s Rhovan Operations with established pyro- and hydrometallurgical processes to the Steelpoortdrift vanadium concentrate, along with possibly other, more innovative, methods. Products being investigated are Ammonium Metavanadate (AMV), >98% V2O5 (standard specifications) and higher purity V2O5 products.
Similar to its approach to Phase 1, the Company will focus on low CAPEX options for downstream processing. The development of concentration production will assist in this goal, as the crushing and beneficiation circuits will be established in Phase 1. A phased development approach to downstream processing will also be investigated.