Exploration and mining company, King River Resources Limited (ASX: KRR) has been involved in the development of its wholly-owned Speewah Specialty Metals (SSM) project. The company is trying to identify the optimum process route to produce vanadium pentoxide, titanium dioxide, iron oxide products and various other high value products like high purity alumina (4N HPA) and magnesium oxide from this project.
On the suggestion of Como Engineering, the company recently decided to reshape the scale and timing of the SSM Prefeasibility Study (PFS).
In March 2019, Como Engineers had reported Capital expenditure estimates for the Acid Contact and Regeneration Plants as well as for Beneficiation, Leach and Metal Recovery Processing Facility, required at the SSM project.
The Processing Facility and Acid Plants capital expenditure estimates are summarised in the table below:
CAPEX estimates for Agitated Tank Leach Reported in March 2019 (Source: Company’s Report)
The test work and recent optimisation studies have identified opportunities to materially reduce the startup capital requirement to build the project without significantly impacting on operational margins scoped earlier.
The company believes that the estimated capital costs of constructing a new beneficiation, agitation leaching and metal recovery plant will be reduced to around $524 million (+/- 30% accuracy) by reducing its startup mining rates to operationally correspond with a more standard sized acid plant installation that is capable of producing more than 15 megawatts per year and 1800 tonnes per day of sulphuric acid.
Due to these changes, the company now expects Prefeasibility Study to be completed towards the end of 2019.
The company has informed that most of the components of the 4.7 billion tonnes SSM Project will be designed around being modular and therefore readily scaleable by nature. This will allow the company to organically fund and expand the tonnages mined, and metals recovered. The project will be designed to produce different specifications of high purity alumina (HPA), vanadium, magnesium, titanium and iron products.
SSM Project Update: During the June quarter, the company produced the first HPA product by the hydrogen chloride (HCl) gas sparging method directly on a crude sulphate leach solution. The final precipitate of high purity alumina assayed >99.99% Al2O3 (4N HPA), calculated on an oxide basis, where impurities are converted to oxides then subtracted from 100%. The company is planning to do further HPA precipitation testwork, aiming to improve precipitation efficiency and reduce the purification recrystallisation steps, which will help the company in producing 4N and higher HPA product grades of alpha-alumina.
HPA is an essential element used in the production of HPA coated separators and Synthetic sapphire glass.
During the June quarter, the company also reported encouraging Iron Oxide (Fe2O3) precipitation results, informing about the high purity iron oxide (Fe2O3) product which was produced through the iron reduction chemical precipitation method from the sulphuric acid leach solutions.
The final iron oxide product, produced by purifying and calcining the intermediate ferrous sulphate precipitate, assayed 67.13% iron, with 1.91% Magnesium, 0.21% Aluminum, 0.096% Manganese, 0.09% Silicon, 0.081% Titanium, 0.031% Sulfur, 0.028% Sodium, 0.02% Vanadium, 0.01% Calcium and 0.008% Potassium. The company is investigating further iron reduction and purification methods to develop the best Fe2O3 process route.
King River also reported impressive titanium oxide (TiO2) precipitation results wherein the company informed about the intermediate titanium dioxide (TiO2) products produced by hydrolysis from the iron-depleted leach solutions.
The best intermediate TiO2 product result with the lowest contaminants assayed 80% TiO2, with 1.39% iron, 2.84% Sulfur, 0.016% Magnesium, 0.15% Aluminium, 0.011% Vanadium, 0.007% Manganese, 0.05% sodium, 0.007% Calcium, 0.017% potassium, 0.065% Silicon and 12.94% LOI.
The company is investigating further hydrolysis methods to improve the quality of TiO2 products and develop the best process route for the SSM project.
Along with SSM project, the company is also progressing with the development of its other projects particularly, Treasure Creek Gold Project and Mt Remarkable Gold Project.
Treasure Creek Gold Project Update: The Board of King River Resources recently applied for two highly prospective tenements in the Tennant Creek Region which it believe will supplement the company’s existing Treasure Creek Iron Oxide Copper Gold (IOCG) exploration holdings. The new application EL31626 is covering a part of the Kurundi Anticline as well as the Kurundi historic gold mine while the other new application EL32199 is covering the Whistle Duck–Edmirringee trend which continues into KRR’s tenement, EL31626, to the east.
Location of KRR’s new exploration licence applications (Source: Company’s Report)
King River Resources has identified multiple copper-gold targets within the granted licences. The Tennant Creek and Rover gold fields are host to high-grade Iron Oxide Copper Gold deposits with over 5.5M ozs Au mined from Tennant Creek and a resource of 1.2M ozs Au at Rover 1.
Mt Remarkable Gold Project Update: Recently, at the company’s Mt Remarkable Gold Project, 6 exploration licence applications were granted, covering the primary strike extension of the Whitewater Volcanics.
Location of KRR’s new exploration licence applications and relevant gold prospects (Source: Company Reports)
The best downhole results of the Mt Remarkable Project are as follows:
- 4m @ 113.29g/t Au including 1m @ 346g/t Au in KMRC78;
- 4m @ 39.78g/t Au including 1m @ 82.7g/t Au in KMRC75;
- 6m @ 60g/t Au including 2.8m @ 108g/t Au in KMDD01;
- 4m @ 36.77g/t Au from 7m including 1m @ 70.9g/t Au in KMRC127;
- 3m @ 34.8g/t Au including 1m @ 50.5g/t Au in KMRC0077;
Stock Performance: On the year to date basis, KRR’s stock has provided a return of 19.35% as on 21 August 2019. At the time of writing i.e., 22 August 2019 (AEST 12:52 PM), KRR stock is trading at a price of $0.036 with a market capitalization of circa $46.2 million.
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