TENOVA Mining & Minerals South Africa, the South African market focused black empowered operating arm of the global Tenova Mining & Minerals Group, has been nominated to carry out a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for London Stock Exchange-listed Baobab Resources. The DFS will be done on Baobab’s pig iron and ferro-vanadium project in Mozambique’s Tete region.

The iron ore resource to be mined in this greenfields project comprises of magnetite and includes vanadium, with the pre-feasibility study test work having confirmed successful production of pig iron and vanadium as a by-product.

The DFS, which is intended to run from January to September 2014, will cover beneficiation and smelting of 1 million tonnes annually of high quality, low impurity pig iron, with Tenova Pyromet consulting on the smelting plant aspect of the study. The DFS includes pilot testwork on the comminution and beneficiation characteristics of the ore at the South African minerals research organization Mintek, from which a 4 tonne concentrate sample will be shipped to FL Smidth in the USA. The sample will be used for pilot work on the pre-reduction step.

The proposed flowsheet covers crushing, magnetic separation, direct reduction in a kiln and smelting of concentrates derived from the project’s iron ore. Test work on thermal coal from a number of producers in Tete proved positive for Baobab’s direct reduction process. The project’s strategic proximity to the requisite iron and steel making commodities of iron ore, coal, power and water presents an opportunity to add substantial value on site - through mine-mouth smelting of a pig iron product.

A major challenge associated with the project is the remoteness of the site and difficulty of access. The logistics aspects of the study will evaluate transport infrastructure requirements, including trucking of coal to site, trucking of pig iron to a railway siding and transport by train to the ports of Beira or Nacala. The study will also take the significant infrastructure investments already being made in the region into account. These include rail corridors linking the Tete province with the coast that are being refurbished and expanded, as are the ports of Beira and Nacala.

In addition, in conjunction with another consultant, Tenova Mining & Minerals South Africa will assess the possibility of co-generating off-gases for conversion into power.

Tenova Mining & Minerals South Africa focuses on the provision of total innovative solutions across the full mining & minerals industry value chain in South Africa. Tenova Mining & Minerals is a total integrated solutions provider to the global mining, bulk materials handling and minerals beneficiation and processing sectors, offering innovative technological solutions and full process and commodity knowledge across the mining and minerals industry value chain.

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