- Neometals (NMT) has completed a mini-pilot test work program at its Vanadium Recovery Project in WA
- Results yielded excellent purity levels of 99.5 per cent vanadium pentoxide and recoveries exceeding 75 per cent
- Neometals has an existing collaboration agreement with Critical Metals to potentially construct a facility to recover and process high-grade vanadium from a vanadium steel by-product
- The business will fund and manage feasibility study and engineering costs to potentially form a joint venture with Critical Metals
- The mini-pilot program will be followed by a full pilot plant program which will begin next year
- Additionally, a pre-feasibility study will commence for the Vanadium Recovery Project and is expected to be finished by the end of June next year
- Company shares are up 3.85 per cent and are trading for 20.3 cents
Neometals (NMT) has completed a mini-pilot test work program at its Vanadium Recovery Project in Western Australia.
Pleasingly, results have confirmed excellent vanadium chemical product purity of more than 99.5 per cent vanadium pentoxide and strong recoveries exceeding 75 per cent.
Additionally, leach residence times have reduced by 50 per cent from the scoping study design. Shorter residence time may potentially reduce the size of the leaching circuit and associated capital costs.
Neometals milled and processed 104 kilograms of slag (a vanadium-bearing steel by-product) over a continuous 98-hour period.
During the program, a total of 189 litres of pregnant leach solution (PLS) was generated and processed through a conventional mixer-settler solvent extraction system that incorporates extraction, scrub and strip stages.
"We are very pleased with the results of the Mini-Pilot campaign. This substantially de-risks our patent-pending processing flowsheet and gives us the confidence to commence the PFS," Managing Director Chris Reed said.
To manage the Vanadium Recovery Project's pre-feasibility study, Neometals has appointed global engineering consultancy, Hatch. The study is expected to be completed by the end of June 2021.
Earlier this year, Neometals secured a collaboration agreement with Critical Metals to evaluate the feasibility of constructing a slag recovery facility in Scandinavia. The facility will be used to recover and process high-grade vanadium products from slag.
Vanadium pentoxide is mainly used in steel alloying applications as well as for next generation energy storage and aerospace alloys.
Neometals will fund and manage activities including the completion of engineering costs and feasibility studies until a final investment decision has been made. If positive, this will earn Neometals a 50 per cent interest in a joint venture with Critical.
In a commercial operation, Neometals and Critical expect to feed 200,000 dry tonnes per annum of slag into a circuit which will involve a multi-staged integrated mill-leach circuit using an alkaline sodium carbonate leaching system.
Following the success of the mini-pilot campaign, around 30,000 tonnes of slag samples from Sweden and Finland have been collected and are scheduled to be dispatched to WA on November 5. This will enable a full pilot plant program to begin in mid-2021.
Company shares are up 3.85 per cent and are trading for 20.3 cents just after midday trade.