Technology Metals Ltd (ASX:TMT) has demonstrated the opportunity to produce a high-grade, high-purity iron-vanadium concentrate from the Yarrabubba Iron-Vanadium Project in WA during a program of magnetic separation test-work (LIMS) on seven composite samples.
The program produced a weighted average of 64.3% iron in magnetic concentrate at a high mass recovery of 47.6%.
Test-work data continues to confirm scope to meet the premium Platts 65 product specifications as the Yarrabubba Project development opportunity crystallises.
This work is assisting to advance offtake and EPC discussions that TMT is engaged in with Sinosteel Australia Pty Ltd under a non-binding Letter of Intent.
Product expected to be “well-received”
Technology Metals managing director Ian Prentice said: “The emergence of this opportunity to produce a high-grade, high-purity iron-vanadium magnetic concentrate is a major breakthrough, potentially delivering a low entry cost project that is complementary to and expected to reduce funding and implementation risk of, the GVP [Gabanintha Vanadium Project].
“This premium product is expected to be well received by the steel industry, underlined by the support of a global industry leader in Sinosteel Australia.”
Sinosteel Australia managing director David Sun said: “Sinosteel Australia is very pleased to have established this relationship with Technology Metals Australia and aim to progress our offtake and EPC contract discussions on the premium quality Yarrabubba Iron-Vanadium Product based on the principles of mutual benefit and respect.
LIMS test-work results
The completed program of Low Intensity Magnetic Separation (LIMS) test-work on seven composite samples was formed from PQ diamond drill holes previously completed at Yarrabubba.
The representative composite samples tested to assess iron and vanadium grades and recoveries to a magnetic concentrate at a range of grind sizes were:
- MASFR1 – Massive, Fresh, Composite 1;
- MASFR2 – Massive, Fresh, Composite 2;
- HW1FR – Hangingwall Unit 1, Fresh;
- HW2FR – Hangingwall Unit 2, Fresh;
- HW3FR – Hangingwall Unit 3, Fresh;
- FWFR – Footwall Unit, Fresh; and
- TRANS – Massive Transitional Composite.
This data indicates potential for a titanium product to be generated from the non-magnetic tails stream, with further test-work required to assess the opportunity and practicality of producing a saleable titanium product.
The very high iron grades combined with the very low levels of impurities demonstrates the scope for the Yarrabubba High-Grade Iron-Vanadium Product to meet or exceed the premium Platts 65 product specifications.
Ongoing work in support of the development of the Yarrabubba Project includes:
- Investigation of the potentially economic components of the non-magnetic tails stream;
- Assessment of the opportunity to incorporate dense media separation to achieve early rejection of gangue;
- Assessment of the mineralogy that has led to these outstanding LIMS results;
- Initial flowsheet definition;
- Drilling campaign to generate additional sample for potential mini-pilot test-work;
- Drilling campaign to provide open pit geotechnical data and infill the current Inferred resource;
- Evaluation of logistics options, haulage routes; and
- Completion of required environmental assessment activities.
Offtake and EPC letter of intent with Sinosteel Australia
Technology Metals has entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent with regard to negotiating a life-of-mine offtake agreement over the premium Yarrabubba High-Grade Iron-Vanadium product and entering into an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract with Sinosteel’s affiliate Sinosteel Equipment & Engineering Co Ltd (MECC).
The EPC contract will be subject to agreed competitive commercial terms and the availability of commercially viable project finance and will include the processing plant infrastructure, non-processing infrastructure and ancillary facilities.
It is intended that the EPC contractor will manage the project implementation through to commercial production, including pre-defined recovery and product purity milestones, and engage with Australian engineering groups to assist as required.
The parties have commenced discussions that may lead to binding agreements for offtake, EPC or both.