What do latest test findings mean for Vanadium Resources’ (ASX:VR8) Steelpoortdrift project?

Image Source: Company update


  • Vanadium Resources is developing its world-class Steelpoortdrift project in South Africa.
  • Vanadium is considered to be one of the foundation elements of the green industrial revolution.
  • A definitive feasibility study on the project is progressing as planned, with expected completion in September 2022.
  • The latest findings of pilot plant metallurgical test work have resulted in improved overall recoveries from the PFS level.

Vanadium Resources Limited (ASX:VR8|DAX:TR3) continues to make eye-catching progress across its flagship Steelpoortdrift Vanadium Project. The project holds one of the largest and highest-grade vanadium deposits in the world.

Keeping an eye on the green energy market, VR8 is advancing its flagship project on the fast track. The company is currently busy completing the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on the project.

The recently announced findings of pilot plant test works on the samples collected from the project formed a major part of the DFS.

VR8 global resource and concentrate grades with respect to its peers

(Image source: Company update)

Elevated overall recoveries boost confidence in Steelpoortdrift DFS

The findings of the test works were highly encouraging and exceeded the company’s expectations, resulting in increased overall recoveries of 84.4%. It represents a 4% increase in metrics used for the Prefeasibility Study of the project.

The significance of the elevated values lies in the fact that each percentage increase would raise the product output by 400,000 pounds per annum. So, a 4% increase would now boost the overall product output by 1,600,000 pounds annually. These elevated production levels will influence the project economics in a positive way within the current design with no additional costs.

The data from the test work has enhanced the overall confidence in the DFS as the material used in the test works was trial mined from the orebody using mining methods that will be used during the commercial mining operation.

The test works comprised magnetic separation process followed by the Salt Roast and Leaching (SRL) process. In the first stage of the metallurgical test work, the mined material passed through three-stage Low Intensity Magnetic Separation circuit.

VR8 also revealed that the silica content of the magnetically separated concentrate was in the range of 1.1-1.3%. This indicates that lower silica content will improve the downstream processing efficiencies and will also consume a lesser amount of reagents.

The concentrate produced from the magnetic separation process was then dewatered and sent for the SRL pilot circuit.

Image source: Company update

The final result of the test work was an overall product recovery of 84.4% with a product grade of >98% of V2O5.

Way forward

VR8 is further expediting test works to investigate low-cost opportunities for ilmenite concentrates from the processing of the residue material. Apart from this, the company is also undertaking studies to recover other important metals, mainly titanium and iron. This will further improve the project economics, and at the same time, will reduce the tailings footprint.

With the battery storage industry gaining traction, vanadium is witnessing a spike in investors’ interest. The metal is the primary constituent of vanadium redox flow batteries. Having one of the largest and high-grade vanadium deposit, positions VR8 to be in a strong position in the market.

VR8 shares were trading at AU$0.075 in the early hours of 18 July 2022.





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