PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A preliminary feasibility study (PFS) by ASX-listed Neometals into the recovery of high-purity vanadium pentoxide from high-grade vanadium-bearing steel-byproduct in Finland, has proven positive.
Neometals in April of last year inked a collaboration agreement with Scandinavian mineral developer Critical Metals to jointly evaluate the feasibility of constructing a recycling facility to recover and process high-grade vanadium products from vanadium-bearing steel by-product.
Under the terms of the agreement, Neometals would fund and manage the evaluation activities, including engineering cost and feasibility studies up to the consideration of an investment decision, at which point the partners would form a joint venture (JV).
The company also in April last year executed a conditional agreement with steel producer SSAB to acquire slag produced at its Scandinavian steel mills.
Neometals on Tuesday said that the PFS considered a throughput rate of 200 000 t/y, to produce 13.43-million pounds a year of high purity, zero carbon vanadium pentoxide.
The project is expected to require a capital investment of $183.4-million, and will have an operating cost of $4.25/lb, with a payback period of four years. The study estimated a pre-tax net present tax of $231-million and an internal rate of return of 31.2%, while some $1.36-billion will be generated over a plant life of ten-and-a-half years.
“Completion of the PFS is a significant milestone for the vanadium recovery project and its stakeholders. It has confirmed the robust economics of combining this high-grade feed stock with our innovative process flowsheet to deliver some of the highest-grade, lowest-cost vanadium chemicals globally with a zero carbon footprint,” said Neometals MD Chris Reed.
The pilot plant is already under constriction and targeted for commissioning in the June quarter of this year. A definitive feasibility study will also start in July. Meanwhile, environmental impact assessment and other permitting work will continue, while the parties would also start work targeting financiers and European project stakeholders.