Hydrometallurgical testing by King River Resources has delivered 99.73 per cent pure titanium dioxide product from its 100 per cent owned Speewah specialty metals project in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The company is aiming to develop a process flowsheet at the project that will produce high-purity vanadium and titanium products for use in vanadium flow batteries, master alloys and titanium oxide pigments.
Speewah covers more than 650 square kilometres of tenure and hosts a massive 4.7 billion tonne resource going at 0.3 percent vanadium oxide, 3.3 per cent titanium dioxide and 14.7 per cent iron.
The high-purity titanium dioxide results come on the back of testwork conducted by company consultant, Nagrom Metallurgical.
Three diamond drill holes from the central part of the deposit were leached in sulfuric acid under various test conditions to produce nine leachate solutions.
Further stages of the testing returned high-purity product grading 99.73 per cent titanium dioxide. Management says more testwork may further increase purity and improve titanium recoveries from the product.
King River reports it has also identified a suitable organic extractant and diluent for recovery of vanadium from the sulphuric acid leach solution. Further testwork is underway.
The company believes Speewah to be the largest vanadium-in-magnetite deposit in Australia.
Whilst management has considered various paths to monetise the deposit, the alumina content grading 12.5 per cent in the central part of the deposit has guided the company toward a new approach to production.
Detailed metallurgical testwork on Speewah ores has led to development of a simple processing circuit that uses conventional crystallisation and calcination to produce 4N high-purity alumina or “HPA” powder that is 99.99 per cent pure aluminium oxide powder.
King River is now prioritising the construction of a cutting-edge HPA manufacturing plant at Kwinana, south of Perth, whilst postponing the potential development of Speewah to a later stage.
King River’s proprietary protected HPA processing technology enables the Kwinana plant to potentially obtain its feed from a variety of sources, including from readily available industrial feedstocks or other mineral deposits.
A recently completed pre-feasibility study on the proposed plant returned highly impressive numbers with the venture forecast to deliver more than $190 million per annum in free cash flow over an initial 25-year operation.
The plant is projected to produce 9,000 tonnes of 4N HPA per annum to feed into the growing global market with the proposed long-life operation generating a net present value that tips the scales at an impressive $1.04 billion.
In addition, $7.03 billion of revenue and $4.44 billion of free cash flow over the initial 25-year operational period is projected, with a pay-back period of just 2.2 years.
HPA has applications in a range of modern technologies including LED lighting, smart phone screens, computer monitors and lithium-ion batteries to boost their performance.
Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: email@example.com