King River Delivers With Vanadium Extraction Results

King River Resources says salt roast test work with Murdoch University has delivered exceptional first-pass extraction results of up to 92 per cent vanadium concentrate using ore from its Speewah deposit in the Kimberley region of WA.
The company is currently hammering away on a new green process flowsheet to produce high-purity vanadium pentoxide, vanadium electrolyte, titanium dioxide and metallic iron from the deposit.
The minerals are used to manufacture electrolytes for vanadium redox flow batteries, master alloys, and titanium oxide pigments and are considered crucial in the global push towards low-carbon energy production.
King River and Murdoch University’s Hydrometallurgy Research Group launched the initiative earlier this year with the purpose of developing a new process flowsheet that could promote multi-commodity production using ore from the Speewah vanadium deposit.
According to the company, its work is centred around the development of two new processing methods, including an oxidative salt roast process to recover vanadium and the trial of several reductive roast processes including hydrogen to recover other metals.
The first set of results from the salt roast process proved fruitful with a vanadium extraction rate of as much as 92 per cent.
King River says the preliminary salt roast results will be used to select the best reagent set, dosages and temperature conditions for subsequent salt-roast test work.
Management believes the “excellent” extraction rates are significantly north of its initial expectations and the company is highly encouraged by the results given they could lift even higher after running additional optimisation processes.
Interestingly, the Australian Federal Government has added vanadium to its critical minerals list and is taking steps to position the country as a superpower in the critical minerals space.
The Critical Minerals Initiative comes with a $200 million commitment kitty that will be used to help strategically important projects at critical stages of development.
The cash will help businesses such as King River get to market quicker and attract additional investment.
King River is also a participant in the Future Batteries Industry Cooperative Research Centre or “FBICRC” that will see it dive into the development of vanadium electrolytes.
The venture is intended to aid in the development of battery industries that could bolster the country’s future energy options.
Vanadium has long been used to create steel alloys, nuclear reactors and aircraft carriers; however, the material’s employment in the production of vanadium redox flow batteries has recently brought it to the forefront of an emerging new energy market.
The batteries are often utilised to store electricity for utility networks, commercial premises, in the storage of energy generated by solar and wind-powered systems and industrial sites.
King River’s Speewah deposit is the country’s largest vanadium-in-magnetite deposit in terms of tonnage and vanadium pentoxide concentration and takes in a total mineral resource of 4712 million tonnes going 0.3 per cent vanadium pentoxide, 3.3 per cent titanium dioxide and 14.7 per cent iron.
King River’s rolling work with Murdoch University and the FBICRC could drive the company to new heights and push it to the forefront of the new energy space.