Special Report: Increased vanadium recoveries at Pursuit Minerals’ Airijoki project has the company talking up great economic returns.

An Airjoki scoping study released earlier this month predicting “substantial potential returns” now looks even better, after Pursuit Minerals (ASX:PUR) released a set of very important metallurgical test work results.

Pursuit was looking to increase the mass recovery of the vanadium magnetite concentrate and lift the overall recovery of vanadium at the advanced Airjoki project.

And it was successful; the average mass recovery improved from 13.3 per cent to 22 per cent, and the average recovery of vanadium into a magnetite concentrate is now over 70 per cent.

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Why are increased recoveries so important?

Mass recovery is the weight of the recovered magnetic material as a percentage of the total sample weight.

The higher the mass recovery, the less material Pursuit needs to process to achieve a production target.

Airijoki currently hosts an inferred resource of 44.3 million tonnes, containing 5.9 million tonnes of magnetite at 1.7 per cent V2O5 (in magnetite concentrate), for 100,800 tonnes of V2O5.

But this is based on the 13.3 per cent mass recovery of magnetite concentrate.

By increase this by 65 per cent, Pursuit will significantly increase the amount of vanadium it can recover from the same resource.

Drillholes used for the metallurgical test work program on the Airjoki Project (Source: Supplied)

Taking advantage of the energy storage revolution

Pursuit Minerals managing director Jeremy Read says the results “substantially improve the economics of what was already a potentially financially robust project at Airijoki”.

“There are only a few projects in the world which can deliver a vanadium magnetite concentrate which can compare to Airijoki,” he says.

“Consequently, we have greater confidence that we can develop Airijoki as a project selling a high-grade vanadium magnetite concentrate to global markets, to be followed by a second phase of development where we have a downstream processing plant producing vanadium pentoxide flake to sell into the European market.”

“Our ultimate goal as a company is to seize the opportunities being presented through the energy storage revolution currently unfolding in Europe and the rest of the world to deliver superior returns to our shareholders.”


Step by step

For investors, it’s important to see a company regularly ticking off key milestones on the way to first production and profitability.

And Pursuit has been doing exactly that.

In the March quarter, the company made excellent progress on the development of Koitelainen Vosa and Airijoki, including defining maiden Inferred Mineral Resources – which provided the basis for the just completed Scoping Studies.

In February, the company defined a 116.4 million tonne resource at Koitelainen Vosa, comprising 5.8 million tonnes of magnetite grading 2.3 per cent V2O5 in magnetite concentrate.

This is world-class. Only the Maracas vanadium mine in Brazil produces a higher-grade vanadium magnetite concentrate.

This was followed by a 5.9 million tonnes resource for Airijoki, grading 1.7 per cent V2O5 in magnetite concentrate. Anything above 1.5 per cent is considered high-grade.

This was based on a 13.3 per cent mass recovery of magnetite concentrate, but since then, metallurgical test work has boosted this to 22.2 per cent.

This is significant improvement which could positively impact project economics.

As promised, the company continues to make rapid progress on developing these projects, Pursuit managing director Jeremy Read says.

“The company is clearly emerging as a potentially significant vanadium producer, with large, high grade projects situated in highly desirable jurisdictions, close to infrastructure and services.

“We have delivered the milestones we promised the market in accordance with our announced timetable and we are reinforcing our reputation as a company that achieves results.”


This story was developed in collaboration with Pursuit Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
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