Podium has made a significant breakthrough in metals recovery for its Parks Reef Platinum Group Metals project with world-leading recoveries of more than 90% platinum achieved.

The recoveries, which were achieved with both oxide and sulphide ores under certain atmospheric leach conditions, represents a 30% increase on previous oxide recoveries and a massive 50% gain on previously reported platinum recoveries.

Recoveries of platinum, iridium, nickel and cobalt associated with sulphide ore also saw material improvements.

Importantly, it confirms the ability to increase metal recovery through the optimisation of Podium Minerals’ (ASX:POD) atmospheric leach process by modifying variables such as temperature and oxidative conditions.

The company previously achieved high recoveries for all eight payable metals of up to 85% using atmospheric leaching, which produced a high-grade PGM product suitable for refinery feed.

Improving recoveries

“Our primary focus in the last few months has been to improve metal recoveries, and we can now report a number of exciting successes in this area. Significantly, a material uplift in platinum recoveries has been achieved at laboratory scale with the use of atmospheric leaching,” managing director Sam Rodda said.

“Recoveries of greater than 90% have been achieved for both oxide and sulphide ores under certain testing conditions.”

He added that achieving strong platinum and iridium recoveries would be a key focus for the company as it looks to maximise its support for the global hydrogen economy as both metals are crucial to the high performance of polymer electrolyte membrane required to green hydrogen as well as in hydrogen fuel cells.

The Parks Reef in Western Australia’s Midwest region currently has a resource of 143Mt grading 1.3 grams per tonne 5E PGM for 6Moz of contained PGMs.

Metals recovery optimisation

Podium’s ongoing mineral processing testwork aims to maximise metal recoveries by testing variables in the flotation and atmospheric leaching circuits.

To date, 21 leach optimisation tests have been completed, delivering improved metal recoveries for both oxide and sulphide material.

Achieving high metal recoveries will allow the company to develop saleable products for PGMs and base metals within the context of existing global smelting and refining facilities.

Other goals include developing a technical and economic solution for near surface oxide and deeper sulphide PGM material, optimising metal recoveries to meet future demand trends and maximise project financials, and considering innovative processing options that could bypass the high-energy, high carbon footprint smelter stage.

Upcoming work

Over the next six months, Podium will carry out work to maximise recoveries, reduce capital and optimise operating costs through reagent selection and use.

This includes flotation testing to improve the concentrate grade and mass pull (removal of waste and overall volume of material) entering the downstream leaching process as well as testing of the preferred leach pathway on concentrate feed aimed at increasing metal recoveries whilst reducing reagent consumption.

The company will also carry out leach testing to optimise variables for metal recovery improvement, carry out metal recovery development to better define the Parks Reef products, and review and test other technical options to ensure the current processing pathway maximises project economics when compared to peer processing routes.




This article was developed in collaboration with Podium Minerals, 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.