Australian Vanadium drives down costs as it innovatively optimises flagship project

Australian Vanadium Ltd's (ASX:AVL) advanced pilot test-work at the Metso pyrometallurgical testing facilities in the US is scheduled to be completed in September 2020.

The use of well-established Grate Kiln technology has demonstrated energy efficiency and adaptability for vanadium roasting.

Vanadium leach extraction in the most recent optimised pilot-scale testing of a grate-kiln flowsheet, which uses a pelletised concentrate feed, has achieved an average of 93.3% leach extraction.

Improvement on PFS

After allowing for scaling up, this is estimated to deliver an 8% relative improvement on the basis applied in the pre-feasibility study (PFS).

These test outcomes relate to the processing of concentrate designed to represent the average of the first five years of forecast production and build on results from previous AVL bench-scale tests, where 587 kilograms of concentrate was roasted in batches and similar vanadium leach extractions were observed.

AVL is advancing the development of its world-class Australian Vanadium Project, which is currently one of the highest-grade vanadium projects being advanced globally.

The WA project has a resource of 208.2 million tonnes at 0.74% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), which includes a high-grade zone of 87.9 million tonnes at 1.06% V2O5.

It has an ore reserve of 18.24 million tonnes at 1.04% V2O5, which comprises a proved reserve of 9.82 million tonnes at 1.07% and a probable reserve of 8.42 million tonnes at 1.01%.

“Driving down operating costs”

The success of AVLs innovative processing flowsheet continues to confirm the companys goal – to design, build and operate the worlds lowest-cost primary vanadium operation.

Managing director Vincent Algar said at the time: “The improvements in vanadium extraction that have now been demonstrated by AVLs high-quality pilot work are expected to flow through to the overall process recovery and therefore project revenue.

“This successful outcome is an example of AVLs application to innovation, ultimately aimed at driving down the projects operating and or capital costs.”

The companys key driver is its objective to deliver a bankable feasibility study with an operating cost that can withstand the cyclical lows of the vanadium market.

Hydrometallurgical pilot program

With the optimised roast conditions now well understood, the final bulk production phase of the pyrometallurgical test-work program is being executed.

This work will also confirm the grate-kiln performance in treating the average life of mine (LOM) concentrate generated in AVLs previously reported crushing, milling and beneficiation (CMB) pilot test-work.

The downstream hydrometallurgical pilot program is also underway to finalise AVLs processing flowsheet, purify the leach liquor and generate final vanadium product.

The project consists of a high-grade vanadium-titanium-iron deposit in the Murchison Province of Western Australia

R&D refund

In early June, the company received $1,834,184 from the Australian Federal Governments Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive Scheme for the 2018/19 tax year.

Administered jointly by the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, the self-assessment scheme encourages companies to engage in R&D benefiting Australia, by providing a tax offset for eligible activities.

AVLs R&D work for the period was focused on the development of processing techniques to produce vanadium from a polymetallic ore for vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) and steel applications.

The company is compiling a cRead More – Source