ASX-listed Neometals has started a pilot trial at its Vanadium Recovery Project (VRP), in Finland.
The pilot trial will process about 13 t of vanadium-bearing steel byproduct over 22 days from three slag stockpiles in Scandinavia, at a rate of 25 kg/h.
Neometals says the successful completion of the pilot will confirm the technical feasibility of the company’s proprietary hydrometallurgical process at a scale 25 times larger than previous studies, and inform a feasibility study.
Further, the trial will provide vanadium pentoxide samples for evaluation by potential offtakers.
The 1:1 000 scale pilot follows positive results from an earlier mini-pilot trial that the company undertook in November, which, in turn, followed encouraging prefeasibility-level studies.
Neometals has a collaboration agreement in place with Critical Metals to jointly evaluate the feasibility of construction of a VRP facility to recover and produce sustainable high-grade vanadium products.
Neometals is funding and managing the evaluation activities, including the completion of successive feasibility studies up to consideration of a final investment decision, which, if positive, will earn Neometals a 50% interest in an incorporated joint venture with Critical.
The trial period is due for completion in July 2022.
MD Chris Reed is confident that the pilot will further reinforce a business case underpinned by industry-leading sustainability credentials, exceptional grade stockpiled feedstocks and robust potential financial metrics.