This plant will provide reliable test work data which will be used into the upcoming feasibility study for the project in 2021.
It will be focused on testing COB’s patented minerals processing technology to produce cobalt sulphate from pyrite samples.
Commissioning in mid-2020
Commissioning of the plant is targeted for mid-2020, followed by processing up to 4,000 tonnes of sample.
As well as supporting the feasibility study, the new centre will be available to evaluate COB’s patented minerals technology for application to other projects with this work to be carried out under the COB Partnerships framework.
The BHCP development timeline to 2022.
Construction of pilot plant critical equipment has started and first key equipment is scheduled to arrive at the plant site in Broken Hill in the first quarter of 2020.
The company’s chief China representative Joe Lam has recently completed a progress inspection visit for key leach reactors (autoclave) and filter equipment.
Design drawing and cutaway of leach reactor (left) with a fully assembled similar reactor on the factory floor.
Initially, COB will use the existing 90 tonnes of samples stored from previous drilling campaigns to commission the plant and this step is expected to be completed in mid-2020.
Product for offtake negotiations
After this, up to 4,000 tonnes of sample will be treated through the plant, which will then be operated on a continuous basis to produce cobalt sulphate and elemental sulphur for marketing and offtake negotiations.
The demonstration plant simplified block flow diagram.
The company said, “Our global partners have indicated that 150-300 kilograms of cobalt sulphate is required to make ‘test batteries’ for verification of new chemical suppliers.”
COB aims to produce a minimum of two tonnes of cobalt sulphate.