Minerals producer QEM Ltd has achieved high oil and vanadium extraction rates from its Melbourne pilot plant (pictured) in tests of ores from the company’s Julia Creek mine in western Queensland.
Higher rates of extraction of oil and vanadium, a critical battery metal, were possible at a larger scale which processed 6kg of Julia Creek oil shale with a hydrogen donor solvent.
The pilot plant located at HRL Technologies Group ran effectively, and achieved a vanadium extraction rate of 71.5 percent based on a four-hour leaching time – with longer processing likely to increase extraction rates.
Oil yields were also 142 percent greater than yields reported previously.
Subsequent production runs of the pilot plant will concentrate on optimising yields, leading to the development of a process flow sheet.
They will also focus on preventing a build-up of solid deposits of naphthalene in the oil product collection equipment.
QEM managing director, Gavin Loyden said the results were a major step forward in maximising the potential for both oil and vanadium production.
“The first results demonstrate on a sustainably larger scale that efficient extraction of these two commodities at the project is achievable.
“We will continue to optimise these great results in the coming quarters to further validate this innovative method of extraction for Julia Creek.”
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