Neometals has announced it has mined a bulk sample of high grade titanium-vanadium ore from its Barrambie project for dispatch to metallurgy research institutes in China. The material selected is potential ore feed for a future direct shipping operation and samples will undergo extensive beneficiation and pyrometallurgical test work to confirm the optimal processing pathway ahead of offtake pricing negotiations with the Chinese.
ASX-listed Neometals has collected a 53 tonne high grade bulk sample from its Barrambie titanium-vanadium ore deposit in W.A for dispatch to a number of leading mining and metallurgy research institutes in China.
The sample was sourced from the eastern band of the massive deposit, as the company believes this material has the greatest potential to be the main ore feed source in any future direct shipping operation.
The bulk ore samples will undergo extensive beneficiation and pyrometallurgical test work in China to confirm the optimal processing pathway for the extraction of high-value titanium, vanadium and iron products.
Neometals says it expects the comprehensive test work program will be completed within 6 months.
The company has retained an 11-tonne bulk sample of the ores to provide feedstock for its Australian laboratory metallurgical test work, where it will undertake similar programs to confirm Chinese results.
The test work programs are required by prospective Chinese buyers to confirm recoveries and product qualities and will form the foundation to negotiate off-take pricing arrangements.
production it is critical we give comfort to potential Chinese customers of the quality and value of the Barrambie DSO product.”
"Undertaking test work programs at the leading research institutes in China is a key step in the marketing and pricing of a DSO product as a feedstock for the traditional smelters or titanium chemical producers.”
The Barrambie project is located southeast of Meekatharra in the Murchison region of Western Australia.
Should Neometals choose to direct ship its high-grade ore concentrates to China, there may well be sufficient shed capacity at the nearby Geraldton port facilities to facilitate this part of the operation.
The company recently reported an updated global mineral resource estimate for Barrambie at 280.1 million tonnes grading 9.18% titanium oxide and 0.44% vanadium pentoxide.
A PFS completed for the project in 2015 that will soon be updated, showed an initial mine life of nearly 20 years, with a pre-tax NPV of A$355m, an IRR of 21% with payback in less than 4 years.
With significantly improved commodity prices since 2015 and a number of different processing options opening up for Neometals, including its proprietary Neomet Process, the updated PFS could take on a whole new complexion.