Nowthanna Hill contains both uranium and vanadium on tenements which are south and southeast of the company’s flagship Australian Vanadium Project.
Vanadium resource: Using a 250ppm vanadium pentoxide cut-off the Nowthanna Hill project has an inferred resource of 3.60 million tonnes at 337 ppm vanadium pentoxide.
Uranium resource: Using a 200ppm triuranium octoxide cut-off the project has an inferred resource of 4.73 million tonnes at 404ppm triuranium octoxide.
Operational drill rig at the Nowthanna Hill Deposit
AVL managing director Vincent Algar said: “The completion of this resource estimate allows the company to consider the future value of the granted Nowthanna mining licence.
“The current moratorium on new uranium mine approvals in the state restricts the actions that can be taken by AVL, but may prove valuable in future for consolidation of calcrete resources in the region.
“Uranium and vanadium can be extracted from processing the mineral carnotite (a uranium, potassium vanadate).
"New technologies for the treatment of similar resources, such as those being developed by Marenica Energy Limited, may greatly assist in the economics of future extraction."
Uranium U-pgrade™ process
AVL is considering the application of Marenica Energy’s (ASX:MEY) Uranium U-pgrade™ process to the mineralisation at Nowthanna as having potential to improve the recovery of economically important minerals.
The process has the objective of generating a high recovery of vanadium and uranium host minerals (Carnotite) into a low mass, high grade concentrate.
Successful test work has been reported using the process by Deep Yellow Ltd (ASX:DYL), Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN) at Langer Heinrich, and Toro Energy (ASX:TOE) which controls the balance of the mineralisation at Nowthanna Hill.
The U-pgrade™ process uses a proprietary combination of standard mineral processing technologies, including screening, scrubbing and gravity in a two-stage concentration circuit.
The application of the new process has the potential to reduce capital and operating costs in any future project development.