Test Work Boosts Vanadium Recovery For Technology Metals

ASX-listed mineral developer Technology Metals Australia has produced remarkable vanadium recoveries of up to 96 per cent from batch kiln roast-leach test work of its Yarrabubba composite ore.
According to the company, the work completed by star kiln supplier FLSmidth has validated the suitability of the ore to be treated at its Gabanintha processing facility.
The company says the work has cemented its ore processing workflow as industry leading and helped to vector in on the optimal conditions to process vanadium from its Yarrabubba and Gabanintha deposits, that form part of the larger Murchison Technology Metals Project.
Management argues both feed sources have been recognised as having extremely rapid conversion and excellent physical flow behaviour in the kiln.
The Murchison Technology Metals Project is 40km south of Meekatharra in Western Australia. The venture houses the Gabanintha and Yarrabubba deposits that together make up a massive resource of 146.2 million tonnes grading 0.8 percent vanadium pentoxide, with a high-grade component of 79.8 million tonnes grading 1.1 percent vanadium pentoxide.
Technology Metals is currently chipping away at an integration study for the two deposits, that is expected to be finished in the next few months.
The company believes the findings could significantly boost the economics of the business and also push the mine’s life north of 25 years.
In recent times, the company has wrapped up a laundry list of technical work to drive the study forward, including recovery evaluation, mine scheduling, diamond drilling and an ore reserve estimate.
Roast-leach test work, in particular, has yielded encouraging results with the latest grades of 96 per cent building on earlier work that delivered values around the 95 per cent mark using a preliminary orebody blend.
Interestingly, the company says using its updated roast-leach test work on the original Gabanintha pilot sample, delivered an even higher vanadium recovery rate of up to 98 per cent, above those seen in a 2019 definitive feasibility study.
Technology Metals is advancing a suite of activities as it looks to stake a claim as one of the few companies with complete control of the supply chain.
Only a few months ago, the Perth-based company enhanced its Memorandum of Understanding with Japanese venture LE System to deliver a feasibility study of what could become Australia’s first fully integrated vanadium electrolyte plant.
The plant’s completion could see Technology Metals churn out vanadium electrolyte, a key ingredient in the production of vanadium redox flow batteries.
The benefits of those specific batteries, according to the company, include a long lifespan of more than 20 years and the ability to provide grid stability to both small-scale and larger-scale energy storage solutions.
Furthermore, Technology Metals claims the batteries are also non-flammable and supply superior safety when compared to the in-vogue lithium-ion batteries.
Vanadium may well find itself at the forefront of the global green energy revolution and with Technology Metals continuing to deliver higher recoveries of the material in its latest round of test work, the company could be at the tip of the spear.