Grate Kiln tech’s 94.9% vanadium extraction unlocks value for AVL
Completion of pilot testing has confirmed that well-established Grate Kiln technology can be used for vanadium extraction at Australian Vanadium’s namesake project.
Process optimisation by roasting a concentrate representative of average early years mine production has confirmed combined vanadium roast/leach extractions of up to 94.9 per cent.
Testing on a concentrate representative of the average forecast for later years of processing resulted in 92.2 per cent vanadium extraction.
Notably, Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL) says both results are significant improvements over the traditional rotary kiln flowsheet that is normally used for vanadium processing.
Completion of this test work is an important step forward towards bringing the mine into successful production, with robust processing de-risking the project and providing more security for potential funding partners.
The test work was partly funded by the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre – Projects (CRC-P) scheme and the results enable the company to update the bankable feasibility study engineering design for the concentrate preparation and grate kiln areas.
Work-related to the CRC-P research program to study the production of high purity vanadium products is underway.
This is aimed at further increasing efficiency and improving certainty in the vanadium purification flowsheet design.
Australian Vanadium plans to process vanadium mined from its namesake project through to critical and battery mineral grade products at a processing plant at Geraldton, Western Australia.
In December, the company updated the pre-feasibility for the Australian Vanadium project that substantially improved economics, particularly operating cost.
Cash costs of $US3.66/lb makes the project near Meekatharra, Western Australia, competitive with global primary vanadium producers.
Net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR), which are both measures of a project’s profitability, are estimated at $909m and 17.5 per cent respectively.
Anticipated mine life has also increased from 17 years to 25 years while ore reserves are up 76 per cent to 32.1 million tonnes grading 1.05 per cent vanadium.
Opportunities for further improvements include the consumption of hydrogen in processing and haulage along with the use of renewable energy and vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) based energy storage at its planned operations.
This article was developed in collaboration with Australian Vanadium, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.