The drill program at Gabanintha is collecting large diameter diamond core as test material for pilot scale studies.
Detailed pilot scale test work will allow the planned processing flow diagram (PFD), to be tested on representative volumes of ore to ensure that the process is scaled up correctly for actual mine production.
Full-scale pilot studies are typical and best practice for projects of the size of AVL’s Gabanintha.
2019 pilot plant drill campaign
Collection of large diameter diamond core as test material for pilot scale studies is rapidly progressing.
The diamond core of all material types in the high-grade massive magnetite layer is currently being drilled using downdip and vertical diamond drill holes.
The drilling is being undertaken within AVL’s proposed open pit at Gabanintha.
AVL managing director Vincent Algar said: “The substantial thickness of the deposit has allowed the company to advance collection of material for the pilot study by carefully planned and executed downdip drilling.
“The time and cost savings gained by using this method match our accelerated time line to 2021 production.
“Drilling is progressing exceptionally well, recovering high quality magnetite and proceeding ahead of schedule.”
Nine tonnes of drill core have already been delivered to an experienced laboratory in Perth, with the remainder to be delivered in regular intervals through February and March.
On completion, the drill program will provide AVL with:
• About 30 tonnes of oxide, transitional and fresh core samples required to run a robust pilot plant test work program for the Crushing, Milling and Beneficiation (CMB) circuit;
• Concentrate products from the CMB pilot plant test work program for use in salt-roast leach and hydrometallurgical tests that will produce samples of refined vanadium pentoxide (V2O5);
• Information from these tests to be used to further refine the results of the pre-feasibility study (PFS) released in December 2018; and
• Additional intersections and assay information for the estimation of a revised resource estimate, targeting extensions to the resources to the south of and below the current pit design where the deposit remains open at depth.
The current drilling campaign is focused on the northern 2 kilometres of AVL’s 11.5 kilometres deposit strike length and the collected tonnage is spread along the length of the pit defined by the PFS.
The robust analysis of large volumes of typical material from within the ore reserve aims to distinguish AVL from its peers as the leading vanadium project of choice globally.
Eight holes have been completed for 1,227 metres in the program to date.
Significantly, handheld XRF analysis of drill cores has already confirmed the highly consistent nature of the Gabanintha mineralised zones as well as the accuracy of the current resource model.
The drill program is due for completion in late March 2019 and is currently running ahead of schedule.
Definite feasibility study (DFS) engineering and environmental approvals are ongoing with a revised project timeline targeting 2021 production start, subject to finance.