Platina Resources Limited (ASX:PGM) has produced the first refined scandium oxide from its Owendale Scandium-Cobalt-Nickel Project in central New South Wales with samples to be sent to potential customers.
Pilot test work using the patented solvent extraction (SX) process designed and operated by Element 21 Pty Ltd resulted in production of scandium oxide meeting a very high-grade specification of 99.99% (4N).
The results saw the company’s shares rise almost 7% at opening today to 8.3 cents.
Platina managing director Corey Nolan said: “Platina is extremely pleased that the very first attempt at refining the scandium intermediate produced during the pilot plant program in Perth has produced a 4N product.
“The results provide confidence in our ability to supply the market with a very high-quality product and vindicate Platina’s intended use of Element 21 as the technology provider for the scandium extraction and refining processes.”
Low impurity levels
Samples of the refined product were analysed by a combination of ICP-MS and ICP-OES to determine traces of other elements present.
Total impurity levels were between 100 and 200 ppm on the initial batch refining trial.
This purity meets the specification provided by a potential customer and this will be confirmed once this party has analysed a sample.
Other samples will be provided to potential customers once their requirements are known.
Testing in Perth and Brisbane
The product feed in the refining process was the scandium intermediate patented solvent extraction produced during recent pilot tests at SGS in Perth using Element 21’s SX process.
Refining test work was also performed by Element 21 in Brisbane using their proprietary scandium refining technology.
The results validate the process design for a definitive feasibility study (DFS), allowing engineering to proceed on this area of the plant.
This study is expected to be completed in the December quarter of 2018.
Further refining trials on the remaining scandium intermediate are expected to improve upon the purity achieved in the first trial.
Platina’s Owendale project is one of the world’s largest and highest grade scandium deposits and has potential to become Australia’s first scandium producer with cobalt, platinum and nickel credits.
The company recently received higher than expected scandium results along with high-grade cobalt and platinum from drilling at Owendale.
Of the 31 resource definition holes drilled 15 intersected more than one-metre widths at scandium grades greater than 550 ppm, including 5 metres at 710 ppm.
Cobalt grades of greater than 0.15% were returned from 25 holes, including 3 metres at 0.76% while an added bonus was platinum of up to 5.5 g/t.
Data from the drilling will be used to update the resource for the project for inclusion in the DFS.
Nolan said: “Owendale has cemented itself as one of the world’s high-grade scandium projects and the new results will enhance the overall economics and competitive position of the project.”