According to the company, this is a key milestone in the final pilot test-work program and will allow it to conclude final processing designs, mass balances and detailed costings for the Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS).
Vanadium extraction from roasted pellets averaging 89% was demonstrated in the first part of the two-stage water leach flowsheet being piloted.
The final pilot phase will validate overall vanadium leach extraction achieved by the BFS flowsheet.
Key aspect in development
Managing director Vincent Algar said: “AVL understands the vital importance of representative pilot scale testing as part of the BFS design process.
"The AVL team’s extensive vanadium specific experience has been a key aspect in the successful development of the processing flowsheet.
"The success of this latest water leach test-work and the prior ground-breaking pellet roasting are testimony to this.
"As we work to finalise the BFS in the coming months, the level of detail supplied by AVL’s test-work becomes critical to institutional investors, finance institutions and quality off-take partners which have the highest standards when scrutinising new projects for final investment.”
Shares have been up to 10% higher to 2.2 cents intra-day.
The testing is another step in advancing the company’s goal to design, build and operate the world’s next and lowest-cost primary vanadium operation.
AVL recognises the importance of vanadium as a global critical mineral and intends to build Australia’s high-value vanadium industry through the development of the Australian Vanadium Project in Western Australia.
Consistent with lab-scale work
Vanadium extraction from the pilot test was consistent with lab-scale work and demonstrated significantly better vanadium to impurities dissolution.
Overall vanadium leach extraction after the two-stage leach is anticipated to be greater than 93%, consistent with the company’s earlier laboratory work.
The mechanical leach pilot is considered by the AVL team and its consulting engineers to have been highly successful.
The results are strongly supportive of the proposed use of pelletised roasting as being highly effective at solubilising the vanadium in the concentrate during the roast phase, importantly confirming at a pilot level the project’s ability to deliver world-leading vanadium leach extraction.
Pilot set-up showing rotating drum and filtering operations.
Unique mechanical leach circuit
According to the company, its unique mechanical leach circuit has proven to be a viable, cost-effective design, maximising onshore Australian extraction of high-value critical mineral vanadium products.
Results were confirmed at work conducted at ALS testing facilities in Balcatta, Perth – a research partner in AVL’s Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Projects scheme entitled: ‘Production of 99.95% Pure Vanadium Pentoxide and Vanadium Electrolytes’.