Western Australian vanadium producer Australian Vanadium is examining the value adding of ores from its planned mine at Gabanintha, south of Meekatharra in Western Australia.
The as yet unbuilt mine and processing plant would produce 10,115 tonnes of V2O2 flake per annum, together with 922,500 tonnes of iron rich calcine material which would go to waste.
Now the company is studying options for further processing the iron rich waste at a plant near Mullewa and close to the Port of Geraldton.
The new plant could be configured to:
- Produce a pellitised iron rich calcine product for export
- Upgrade the iron-titanium by-products by removing worthless components
- Or utilise a processing solution to separate the titanium from the calcine.
AVL’s managing director Vincent Algar said: “Having a vanadium processing plant located close to the coast, combined with the amount of iron rich calcine that is forecast to be generated, offers a big opportunity to unlock the value that would otherwise be waste material.”
In a pilot testing programme underway, supported by Cooperative Research Centres funding, samples of calcine have been produced for metallurgical work.
A pre-feasibility study indicates that further processing could improve the project’s economics, with achievable prices rising the more the ore is processed.
Initial work has shown iron content could be increased from 54 per cent to 66 per cent, and to a maximum of 71.1 per cent.
Titanium could also be separated, with that product commanding triple the price of the iron rich calcine.
The studies are together expected to cost $4.9 million
Picture: Australian Vanadium/Gabanintha
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