Resources play Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL) is keen to get roasting.

The company is currently carrying out pilot tests of a new grate kiln which it says can significantly improve the vanadium extraction process.

Australian Vanadium announced it had partnered up with US-based Metso Corp for the next phase of a definitive feasibility study (DFS), with testing in the US scheduled to commence in October.

AVL shares ticked lower in morning trade, down 8.3 per cent to 1.1c.

‘Substantial advantage’

To improve the extraction process, Australian Vanadium is testing its advanced roasting technology on pelletised iron concentrate — a method which it says improves the roasting reaction and reduces the buildup of kiln residue.

Early tests “have confirmed that pelletised concentrate roasting offers a substantial advantage to the traditional rotary kiln technology currently employed by all primary vanadium producers”, Australian Vanadium said.

AVL’s vanadium pellets (Source: AVL)

The company said its pelletised roasting tests have shown a “significant increase” in vanadium extraction to an average grade of 95.4 per cent, up from an industry standard of 85-88 per cent.

“Vanadium roasting technology has not changed much since the 1930s, when cement kiln technology was adapted for salt roasting vanadium-bearing ores. Since that time, the technology has gone largely unchanged,” chief operating officer Todd Richardson said.

The pilot test with Metso will use a combination of a grate furnace for pre-processing, with a traditional rotary kiln for final roasting.

MD Vincent Algar said the grate kiln processing technology would offer a superior roasting solution to rotary kilns.

“The use of Metso’s grate kiln technology and expertise provides us with a crucial competitive advantage,” he said.

In other ASX battery metals news today:

Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) released its half-year results to June, reporting pre-writedown group EBITDA of $US9.4m ($14m) and an underlying after-tax loss of $US171.9m due to one-off writedowns in inventory and property, plant & equipment. Shares in Galaxy fell 3.8 per cent to $1.14.

And on the final day of June reporting season, Redflow Limited (ASX:RFX) also reported its full-year results. The company booked an after-tax loss of $11.6m on revenue of $800k. After competing an $8.4m capital raise during the year, CEO Tim Harris said the company was now at “a critical point in its strategic reset, with a growing pipeline of opportunities to deploy our energy storage batteries at scale”. Shares in RFX were down 5.4 per cent at 3.5c.