Neometals Closes On WA Titanium-Vanadium Production

ASX-listed Neometals has moved a step closer to production at its massive Barrambie titanium-vanadium deposit after commissioning a gravity beneficiation plant at Menzies in Western Australia to produce titanium-rich gravity concentrate samples for offtake evaluation trials. The company will produce and ship around 150 tonnes of the concentrate to Chinese titanium slag producer Jiuxing Titanium Materials for commercial scale trials early next year.
The company’s latest effort follows previous work that saw Neometals ink a Memorandum of Understanding, or “MoU” with Jiuxing.
The deal complements an earlier agreement with the Institute of Multipurpose Utilisation of Mineral Resources Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, or “IMUMR” to develop a beneficiation process for Neometals’ Barrambie ores.
According to Neometals, the concentrates produced by IMUMR are now being smelted by Jiuxing and other interested parties to produce both titanium and vanadium end products.
The company says it has now extended the term of the Jiuxing MoU to reflect a more conservative and achievable timeline. It anticipates a formal binding offtake agreement being consummated late next year. Neometals is also pressing ahead with a suite of evaluation activities that will culminate in the completion of an Advancement of Cost Engineering or “AACE” feasibility study it says should be polished off in the new year.
The AACE study will be used to inform the evaluation and negotiation of proposals for an all-encompassing mine-to-port solution for a mining and gravity concentration operation at Barrambie that will see material exported out of Geraldton.
Neometals’ Barrambie deposit sits about 80 kilometres north of Sandstone in Western Australia’s Murchison region and significantly about 460km east of the port of Geraldton. The deposit’s allure is tied to its location, which promotes efficient export capabilities due to its well-developed infrastructure.
The Barrambie deposit is a titanium-vanadium-rich magnetite body hosted within a suite of intrusive mafic rocks. Neometals’ exploration at Barrambie has to date delivered a massive, near-surface 280 million-tonne resource going 9.18 per cent titanium oxide and 0.44 per cent vanadium pentoxide. The resource potentially positions the deposit as one of the world’s largest undeveloped titanium resources.
Neometals earlier this year advanced Barrambie to a decision to mine and found support from the WA government, sanctioning the mining proposal for the 1.2 million tonne per annum mining operation.
The company is now moving forward with the construction of a processing plant on site.