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Barrambie titanium/vanadium project, Australia – update

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6th October 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Barrambie titanium/vanadium project.

Location
About 80 km north-west of Sandstone, in Western Australia.

Project Owner/s
Emerging sustainable battery materials producer Neometals.

Project Description
Barrambie is one of the biggest vanadiferous-titanomagnetite resources globally, with future upside from vanadium-rich iron by-products.

Neometals concluded a prefeasibility study (PFS) update for the production of direct shipping ore (DSO) and mixed gravity concentrate (MGC) from the Barrambie project in May 2023, with ilmenite the primary product to be recovered.

Based on a mineral resource of 280.1-million tonnes, at 9.18% titanium dioxide and an ore reserve of 27.6-million tonnes, at 22.3% titanium dioxide, the project is expected to have a mine life of 13 years. The PFS envisages the production of one-million tonnes of DSO in Year 1 and one-million tonnes of MGC in years 2 to 13.

Mining of the Barrambie deposit will be com­pleted using conventional excavators and trucks, supported by an ancillary fleet, with all works provided by a professional mining contractor, including a mobile plant, maintenance and drill-and-blast.

The orebody comprises multiple steep-dipping lodes that will need to be mined selectively on 2.5 m flitches within the central ore zones to minimise dilution, and

5 m flitches within the eastern ore and waste zones. Ore will be hauled to a central run-of-mine (RoM) and fed into the RoM bin using a front-end loader. Low-grade ore will be stockpiled on the surface before rehandling to the RoM later in the mine life. Waste rock will be hauled to planned external waste-rock landforms.

Scope remains in the longer term to further subject the MGC to a low-temperature reduction roast and magnetic separation at a second site alongside the Dampier-to-Bunbury gas pipeline, east of Geraldton, to produce separate ilmenite and iron-vanadium concentrate streams. This option will be considered at a later date with standalone commercial parameters.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an estimated pretax net present value, at a 10% discount rate, of A$374.9-million and an internal rate of return of 45%, with a payback of 2.9 years.

Capital Expenditure
The project will require an initial A$78.1-million in capital for one year of production of DSO with mining, crushing and screening only. This will be followed by a further A$137.2-million to build a crush, mill and beneficiate plant for a further 12 years of MGC production.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Neometals has abandoned offtake talks with China’s Jiuxing Titanium Materials Co. Discussions with other parties are continuing.

Neometals has said that both companies invested significant time and money to evaluate the feasibility of using MGC from Barrambie in Jiuxing’s downstream titanium processing facilities.

However, the broader macroeconomic backdrop has required Jiuxing to adjust its production plans and shelve further Barrambie-related activities.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Neometals, tel +61 8 9322 1182.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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