A mining and exploration company, King River Resources Limited (ASX: KRR) made further progress in the development of its flagship Speewah Specialty Metals (SSM) Project. The company reported Iron oxide (Fe2O3) product assaying 67% Fe with low contaminants from its SSM project as part of metallurgical refining testwork.
In an update provided by the company on Friday, 7th June 2019, the company advised that it is witnessing excellent initial precipitation efficiencies of iron oxide and titanium dioxide products from a pregnant sulphuric acid leach solution. The Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) product has assayed 80% TiO2 at 91% precipitation efficiency prior to further optimisation testwork, adding significantly to the value of SSM Project.
Following this update, the company’s share price increased by 3.333% during the intraday trade as on 7 June 2019.
In the last month, the company announced the high purity alumina assaying 99.99% Al2O3 (4N HPA) produced from sulphuric acid leach solutions, providing the potential to add a material new revenue stream to the SSM project.
From its SSM Project, the company intends to produce various high-value specialty commodities, including titanium, vanadium and iron products. The company is currently undertaking a Prefeasibility Study (PFS) to determine the best process routes for the extraction of these commodities.
Initially, the metallurgical refining testwork was focused on precipitating Aluminium (Al), Iron (Fe) and Titanium (Ti) products from the sulphuric acid leach solutions. The iron oxide (Fe2O3) chemical precipitation tests have used a sulphuric acid (H2SO4) leach solution from the 5.6 mm lump agitated vat leach and column leach tests completed by Nagrom. The test conditions were leach temperature 70 degree Celsius, leached in 20% Sulphuric acid at 20% pulp density and during the leach, the acidity was maintained between 150-200 g/L free acid H2SO4 at an upward flow rate of 37.4L/minute/m2.
Notable flooded column results include:
- 90% V and 47% Ti leach extraction after 14 days
- High flow rates and no slumping of the particles within the column have facilitated acid leaching
- Most V, Fe and Ti extraction occurred in 7.5 days
- Particle size distribution (PSD) of the P1006mm lump grains after leaching showed a little breakdown of the original lumps to finer grained material. The leached grains were more brittle than the original material.
The leach solutions contained 32-35g/L Fe. Initially, the iron reduction method was used to precipitate a hydrated ferrous sulphate from the leachate at 81- 82% precipitation efficiencies. Subsequently, the hydrated ferrous sulphate was washed to help remove entrained contaminants including V and Ti.
The final precipitate was dried and staged calcined up to 1000 degree Celsius to produce an iron oxide (Fe2O3) product that assayed 67.13% Fe, with 1.91% Mg, 0.21% Al, 0.096% Mn, 0.09% Si, 0.081% Ti, 0.031% S, 0.028% Na, 0.02% V, 0.01% Ca and 0.008% K. The company is currently investing further iron reduction, purification and other methods of producing iron oxide.
(Source: Company Reports)
For the titanium dioxide (TiO2) chemical precipitation tests, sulphuric acid leach solution was used from the 5.6mm lump column leach tests after iron reduction and precipitation of ferrous sulphate. These leach solutions contained 3.4-3.9g/L Ti. Through the hydrolysis method, the titanium dioxide was successfully precipitated from the leachate at 87-92% precipitation efficiencies.
The best intermediate TiO2 product result with the lowest contaminants assayed 80% TiO2, with 1.39% Fe, 2.84% S, 0.016% Mg, 0.15% Al, 0.011% V, 0.007% Mn, 0.05% Na, 0.007% Ca, 0.017% K, 0.065% Si and 12.94% LOI, at 91% precipitation efficiency.
The company is producing a larger mass of this intermediate product in order to apply various purification methods for improving the final grade. Additional hydrolysis and various other methods of producing TiO2 are currently under investigation to produce 98% and high purity 99.5% TiO2 products and develop the best process route for the SSM project.
The company’s Board of Directors are encouraged by this ongoing testwork and in particular, these excellent initial precipitation efficiencies of iron oxide and titanium dioxide (TiO2) products from a pregnant sulphuric acid leach solution.
The company believes that these ongoing tests of various extraction methods will allow it to find out the optimal process route to produce high-grade, high-value vanadium pentoxide, titanium dioxide, alumina products and iron oxide to be incorporated into a Prefeasibility Study later in 2019.
The company’s focus on high-value specialty commodities will allow it to add potential future revenue streams down the line.
Along with SSM project, the company is also progressing with the development of Mt Remarkable; additional Mt Remarkable Exploration Licence granted with newly identified targets and controls for program in 2019. The company has recently announced the grant of an additional Exploration Licence number E80/5133, which includes prospective quartz vein structures within the Whitewater Volcanics as shown in the figure below.
Map showing newly granted tenement E80/5133 (Source: Company Reports)
In the 2019 March quarter, the company spent $323,000 of cash in exploration and evaluation activities; $463,000 used in operating activities. As at 31st March 2019, the King River Resources Limited had cash and cash equivalents of $3,682,000.
Now, let’s have a glance at the company’s stock performance and the returns it has posted over the past few months. At market close, the stock was trading at a price of $0.031, with a market capitalisation of ~$37.16 million, on 7th June 2019. The counter opened the day at $0.031; reached the day’s high of $0.032 and touched a day’s low of $0.030, with a daily volume of ~1,016,737. In the last one month, the company’s stock has provided a return of 25%. Moreover, the stock price inched up by 3.45% in the last three months. It had a 52-week high price of $0.130 and 52 weeks low price of $0.021, with an average annual volume of ~1,648,505.
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