The company used an integrated graphite and vanadium flowsheet and the test work utilised wet high-intensity magnetic separation (WHIMS) on composite samples.
This resulted in a cleaner concentrate grade of 1.66% vanadium pentoxide with 80.6% recovery.
Results were achieved from an overall feed grade of 0.401% vanadium before graphite extraction.
Based on its new focus on battery metals, Mustang recently received shareholder approval to change its name to New Energy Minerals Ltd.
Mustang managing director Bernard Olivier said the preliminary vanadium results achieved through a simple WHIMS process was truly outstanding.
“Concentration through a WHIMS process is highly economical compared with other concentration processes and requires no expensive nor complicated reagents.
“I urge investors to compare our exceptional preliminary concentrate grades of around 1.7% vanadium pentoxide and 81% recoveries with other vanadium-dedicated projects.
“Furthermore, our vanadium grades and recoveries are in addition to the exceptional grade and quality of graphite extracted from the same material.”
The metallurgical test work was conducted on a composite diamond drillcore sample weighing about 62 kilograms from a depth of between 160 and 212 metres.
Scavenging the rougher and cleaner tailings delivered a further 10.2% recovery to a scavenger concentrate grade of 0.67% vanadium.
Combined cleaner and scavenger concentrates gave 90.8% overall recovery to a combined concentrate grade of 1.42% vanadium.
A full-scale commercial circuit could employ more stages of cleaning and scavenging and intermediate products such as cleaner tailings and scavenger concentrates could be recycled to achieve improved concentrate grades and recoveries.
Mustang is undertaking quantitative mineralogy studies to investigate mineral associations in vanadium concentrate, with the initial results confirming the micaceous nature of the concentrate.
Flowsheet of WHIMS testing
Extraction process for vanadium from mica is substantially different to vanadium extraction from vanidiferous titanomagnetite magnetites (VTM).
Vanadium extraction from micas has closer parallels to the processes associated with lithium extraction from micas and clay minerals.
The company is also progressing additional test work which will produce a bulk sample of high-grade graphite concentrate for evaluation of downstream processing characteristics.
Tailings from this graphite flotation work will be used in additional vanadium concentrate recovery tests, including testing of weathered and oxidised material.
All ongoing and planned test work is focused on optimising the beneficiation process and establishing a robust, low-cost flowsheet for graphite and vanadium extraction and vanadium downstream beneficiation.