The results support an alternative development plan for the Speewah vanadium-titanium-iron project.
King River’s recently reported scoping study demonstrated a viable business case with a healthy cash flow margin for a future development.
This was based on conventional on-site beneficiation of fine-grained concentrate and hydrochloric acid leach-solvent extraction refining at Wyndham producing vanadium pentoxide, titanium oxide and iron products.
While King River was encouraged by the results of the scoping study using these conventional processing methods, the company is committed to examining potentially lower capital and operating cost project development strategies that may also deliver a shorter development timeline.
The potential of using a coarse 2 millimetre concentrate for a heap or vat leach operation is now under revue as test results demonstrate it would reduce the amount of material leached by about 50% and potentially shorten leach times.
The photographs show lump magnetite gabbro before and after the 45-day bottle roll acid leach
Additionally, a 2 millimetre concentrate beneficiation plant would be a simpler design to the facility used in the recently released scoping study that generated a 0.106 millimetre concentrate with the potential flow-on of capital and operating cost savings.
While the new bottle roll and vat/column leach test work program is still at an early stage, the initial results on lump rock are most encouraging and now graduate this model of process route to the most preferred.
The next phase of pre-feasibility (PFS) work will examine the costings of beneficiation of various ROM (run-of-mine) lump sizes and coarse-grained concentrates, and also revue in more detail the capital and operating costs for a vat or heap leach operation and sulphuric acid plant.
The successful conclusion of these tests and studies will lead to the planned publication of a PFS study in 2019.
During 2019, King River aims to present shareholders with the most prudent commercial strategy to develop the Speewah vanadium resource and advance towards the production of vanadium, titanium and iron products at the lowest unit cost.