PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Australian Vanadium has produced a high purity vanadium pentoxide at its namesake project, in Western Australia.
The vanadium pentoxide was produced as part of pre-pilot testwork, and forms parts of efforts to optimise the refinery flowsheet.
The results from this work have identified improvements to the prefeasibility study design and show that higher vanadium recoveries and lower reagent use could be anticipated in the pilot-scale testing, which will be used to support a final definitive feasibility study (DFS) design.
“With the first production of a producer-peer comparable high-purity product and the significant process improvement identified, our confidence increases further as we continue to improve and de-risk the project with each step forward,” said MD Vincent Algar.
A December DFS into the Australian Vanadium project found that the project could produce 900 000 t/y of 1.4% vanadium pentoxide magnetite concentrate, with the planned vanadium pentoxide refinery producing some 22.5-million pounds a year of vanadium pentoxide, over a mine life of 17 years.
The study estimated a capital cost of around $354-million, with the post-tax net present value estimated at between $125-million and $1.4-billion, depending on pricing assumptions.
Australian Vanadium said on Tuesday that the improved vanadium recovery identified in the refinery process could potentially deliver an overall improvement in the post-tax net present value of $14.3-million for every 1% increase, assuming a price of $13/lb.
“Australian Vanadium’s aim is to become the world’s lowest cost vanadium producer and our team is achieving regular breakthroughs to bring the costs down and further improve the project economics,” Algar said.
“We have a strong focus on seeking to understand our unique mineralisation in detail through the analysis of historical and current drilling programmes, testwork and studies.
“Only by having a thorough understanding of the deposit and the process we’re working with, will we have the greatest chance of success throughout the mine’s life.”
The pilot testwork programme is advancing as planned.