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TNG locks in German titanium technology

TNG Ltd is putting its foot on the accelerator in its push to bring its Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the Northern Territory into production.

Fresh from securing a $10m strategic investment from an Indian mining conglomerate this week, the company has now signed a binding heads of agreement with industry-leading German technology provider Ti-Cons for the supply of a full titanium dioxide pigment production technology package.

This package covers all TiO2 products that will be produced by TNG’s proprietary TIVAN hydrometallurgical process and its new TiO2 pigment production process that it successfully developed earlier this year.

TIVAN treats ore without the need for expensive, energy-intensive roasting to produce a titanium feedstock with low iron content which can also potentially minimise the environmental impact compared to a standard sulphate titanium pigment production process.

The company’s new pigment process that is based on the conventional TiO2 sulphate route, has the potential to use feedstock from the TIVAN process without the need for further upgrading to produce high grade TiO2 pigment.

TNG said this could significantly reduce the cost and complexity of the process.

Under the agreement, Ti-Cons will supply TNG with a full technology package for a TiO2 pigment plant including engineering, construction support, procurement support, training and commissioning.

It will provide the company with process and product guarantees for the production of a high-durability TiO2 pigment that is suitable for outdoor coatings type applications.

Any intellectual property developed as a result of, or in connection with the services provided by Ti-Cons will be owned exclusively by TNG.

TNG Managing Director Paul Burton said: “This is a significant agreement for the company to achieve with such a highly-credentialed and respected specialist titanium engineering group.”

“This agreement paves the way for us to commercialise the breakthrough TiO2 pigment production process announced earlier this year as part of the overall development of the Mount Peake Project, ensuring that we maximise the returns from the extraction of all three high-value metals that make up the Mount Peake resource.”

Mount Peake has an ore reserve of 41.1 million tonnes grading 0.42 per cent vanadium pentoxide, 7.99 per cent titanium dioxide and 28 per cent iron.

It is forecast to produce 243,000 tonnes of high-purity V2O5, 3.5 million tonnes of titanium pigment and 10.6 million tonnes of high-grade iron oxide during its initial 17-year mine life according to economic studies undertaken for TNG.

With the reserve representing just 30% of the measured and indicated mineral inventory, there is still considerable scope for TNG to extend the mine life further if commodity prices hold up.

Earlier this week, the company said it executed a binding subscription agreement with Vimson Group that will see the Goa-based private conglomerate acquire $10m worth of TNG shares at a price of 10.4c each.

The TiO2 market is forecast by Technavio to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.82% between 2018 and 2022.

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