PhosCo proves Chaketma potential to produce ‘excellent’ commercial-grade phosphate concentrate
PhosCo’s review of metallurgical testing completed in 2017 has highlighted the potential for its Chaketma project to produce a commercial grade phosphate concentrate.
The advanced bulk tonnage metallurgical tests had found that Chaketma phosphate ore could be upgraded to 30% P2O5 with recoveries of more than 80% and an “excellent” CaO/P2O5 ratio of between 1.55 and 1.60.
This pilot testing also provides the baseline data for the engineering of the processing plant and for further optimisation.
PhosCo (ASX:PHO) says the results indicate the potential to produce a commercial grade concentrate capable of conversion to high quality products – mono ammonium phosphate (MAP) and diammonium phosphate (DAP) using conventional methods and reagents.
The company’s specialist processing engineer Michael Kelahan said the bulk sample test work had confirmed the ability to produce a high-quality product and laid down an excellent base line for producing phosphate rock concentrate.
“There is a clear path for further test work and process optimisation to provide further confidence in the project,” he added.
The review of metallurgy and processing test work during the period 2011 to 2017, was carried out as part of the Gap Analysis that is required to complete a bankable feasibility study on the KEL deposit, which currently has a high confidence Measured and Indicated resource of 55.5Mt grading 21.2% P2O5.
It adds that the metallurgical test results and latest KEL resource provide a strong platform to progress technical studies and further resource expansion
This will be achieved by converting the resources to Ore Reserves and starting the mine feasibility work.
KEL could support a mine life of 30 years at an initial production rate of 1.5Mtpa.
There is also significant potential for resource growth – given that just 47% of the deposit’s known surface area has been covered by drilling.
The company is currently reviewing and validating a large amount of technical work for potential inclusion in project studies that could rapidly advance Chaketma towards production.
One potential work program is metallurgical optimisation test work based on sampling guided by the different phosphate mineralisation layers, which are planned to optimise recoveries specific to each layer.
This is required to optimise mining extraction and pit design, as a key step toward conversion of Mineral Resources to Ore Reserve.
PhosCo is also planning further drilling over the remainder of the KEL prospect with the aim of extending high confidence Resources over the entire prospect.
About 130 holes will be required to achieve the same degree of coverage that exists over the current resource.
Additionally, the company is updating the GK resource with the inclusion of 21 new holes that take the total number of holes up to 31.
This article was developed in collaboration with PhosCo, 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.