King River Copper has announced outstanding results from hydrometallurgical test work completed on its flagship Speewah vanadium/titanium deposit, south of Kununurra in W.A. The company reported that it had managed to produce the coveted grade of 99.51% pure vanadium pentoxide. The test work is examining a new direct leaching-precipitation method to make premium vanadium, titanium and iron products from the Speewah deposit ores.
ASX listed King River Copper has managed to produce the coveted vanadium grade of 99.51%, just falling over the 99.5% line into one of the more revered and lucrative vanadium product categories.
The company produced the high purity, battery grade powder assaying 99.51% vanadium pentoxide during hydrometallurgical test work completed for Speewah which is in the east Kimberley region of W.A.
The work is being completed by TSW Analytical to investigate a new direct leaching-precipitation method to produce premium vanadium, titanium and iron products from the company’s vanadium-rich titanomagnetite ores from the Central vanadium deposit at Speewah.
The complex test work process initially used coarse-sized, very high-grade vanadium magnetic concentrates leached in concentrated acid for over 4 hours.
The titanium dioxide component is then removed from the solution by precipitation.
The residual solution contained a crude iron-vanadium compound that retained almost 96% of the original vanadium metal for further test work.
The remaining vanadium was then separated from the iron using the commercial “AMV” process and after several iterations of purification, produced a 99.51% yellow vanadium pentoxide powder with extremely low impurities.
The work is part of a larger Vanadium concept study being undertaken by TSW for King River, into the production of the very high purity vanadium pentoxide powders and standard grade vanadium pentoxide flake.
Additionally, TSW is investigating the production of high purity titanium dioxide pigment products, high-grade hematitic iron ores and vanadium electrolyte for battery products.
The test work process being trialled is different to conventional salt roast pyrometallurgical methods or direct solvent extraction of metallic products from solutions.
Results of TSW’s test work will be fed into an ongoing Scoping Study that is underway for King River’s Speewah deposit.
King River Management commented: “The production of high purity vanadium pentoxide assaying 99.51% V2O5 is another important milestone in KRC’s plan to become an important player in the manufacture of vanadium and titanium products. Future testwork will aim to improve upon this excellent first result.”
“The AMV process route is a known technology and the high solubility of AMV in water allows for improvements in V2O5 purity in future testwork.”
The company says that further leaching test work of the high-grade Speewah ore concentrates is ongoing at TSW Analytical.
King River’s Speewah vanadium project is one of the largest vanadiferous titanomagnetite deposits in the world and produces the highest vanadium grade in a beneficiated magnetite-ilmenite concentrate.
The global mineral resource estimate at Speewah is a staggering 4.712 billion tonnes grading 0.3% vanadium pentoxide, 2% titanium dioxide and 14.7% iron.
The company envisages an open cut mining operation based on the outcropping, shallow dipping, higher-grade Central vanadium deposit that should have a very low strip ratio.