Australian Vanadium’s metallurgical testwork at its Australian Vanadium Project in Western Australia produces high purity vanadium pentoxide.
|AVL’s V2O5 product (right hand side image of product under microscope). Image ©Australian Vanadium|
A benchscale metallurgical testwork program has been undertaken to optimise the refinery flowsheet for the project. Results have identified improvements to the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) design and show that higher vanadium recoveries and lower reagent usage can be anticipated in the planned pilot scale testing, which will be used to support the finalised DFS design.
Managing Director Vincent Algar commented, “With the first production of a producer-peer comparable high-purity product and the significant process improvements identified, our confidence increases further as we continue to improve and de-risk the project with each step forward.”
The standard AVL process commenced with physical crushing, milling and magnetic separation of ore to make a concentrated product, followed by a soda ash roast and further refining to produce a high quality V2O5 product which constitutes typical alkaline roast leach refining for vanadium processing.
Roasting tests were performed on magnetic concentrate that had been pelletised using a binder. Roasting at optimised temperature and reagent conditions resulted in a vanadium roast leach extraction of 94 per cent, a substantial increase from 88 per cent without pelletising. This compares with the roast vanadium extraction of 87.9 per cent applied in the PFS.
The Company confirmed that an alternative vanadium production route, known as APV (ammonium polyvanadate), was tested on the leachate produced by roasting and generated a final product quality of 99.4 per cent V2O5, which was independently verified by an accredited laboratory.
“The APV process showed reduced reagent consumption and the potential to eliminate the desilication step required in the AMV (ammonium metavanadate) process which was considered in the PFS,” said Mr Algar.
“These encouraging results are guiding the overall design of the refinery circuit and are expected to have positive impacts on the project economics. AVL is currently modifying the refinery pilot testwork scope of work to incorporate the learnings from the benchscale program.
This assay gives AVL further confidence in the flowsheet and the processing route selected.”