Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL) has been granted an exploration licence over the historical Coates vanadium deposit located 35 kilometres east of Perth in Western Australia.
Exploration at Coates was undertaken in the 1970s after its discovery in the early 1960s and previous metallurgical test work produced favourable results.
Historical mine planning was also completed although not undertaken.
Vincent Algar, managing director, commented: “It was a nice surprise to find this historical vanadium deposit in Western Australia.
“The deposit, although small, looks to be reasonably accessible and is very close to Perth city. We will of course, need to undertake further exploration, as the data on the site is quite dated.”
A unique vanadium deposit
The geology of the Coates deposit is unique and shows that vanadiferous magnetite is developed from the weathering profile of an underlying gabbro in a laterite outcrop on a ridge.
The Coates vanadium deposit occurs in magnetite lenses at the core of the layered Coates Gabbro, which is 1 kilometre long and 600 metres wide.
Due to its close proximity to Perth, a portion of the exploration licence area is covered by nature reserve or semi-rural development; however Vacant Crown Land covers the eastern portion of the original Coates vanadium deposit.
Historical metallurgy indicates good recoveries
The historical metallurgical test results indicated that a 58% recovery of vanadium at a grade of 1.4% vanadium pentoxide, 3% titanium oxide, 67% iron grade with 8% silicon dioxide is achievable.
A total of 40 tonnes of ore was used for these tests with the bulk ore assaying 0.54% vanadium pentoxide, 4.75% titanium oxide, 25% iron and 29% silicon dioxide.