On 28th May 2019, Australian Vanadium Limited (ASX: AVL), a metals and mining sector company, provided an update related to the metallurgical testwork currently underway for The Australian Vanadium Project. The company was able to produce high purity 99.4% Vanadium Pentoxide (V2O5) from the pre-pilot testwork, and the quality is comparable to the standard products from existing global producers.
The recent roast-leach process testing showcased the dual benefits of pelletising and increased roasting temperatures. The standard AVL process starts with the physical crushing, milling and magnetic separation of ore to create a concentrated product. It is then followed by a soda ash roast along with further refining for producing a high-quality V2O5 product, which constitutes typical alkaline roast leach refining for processing vanadium.
These encouraging results will guide the overall design of the refinery circuit and have a positive impact on project economics. At present, the company is making changes to the refinery pilot testwork scope of work to include the learnings from the bench-scale program.
The bench-scale test was undertaken in order to find the effects of roasting and leaching variables on vanadium extraction and at the same time, reduce the co-extraction of harmful elements.
Project Economics Impact
Vincent Algar, the Managing Director of AVL, stated that the company aims to become the lowest cost vanadium producer in the world and the team involved is achieving regular improvements to bring the costs down and further improve the project economics. The company is currently focusing on understanding its unique mineralisation in detail, based on the analysis of the historical and current drilling program, test work as well as studies in order to have the highest chance of success throughout the mine’s life.
Pilot Study Progress
The pilot testwork program is moving forward as per the plan. The company intends to continue the testing of Crushing Milling and Beneficiation (CMB) circuit on 1x4 tonne and 2x10 tonne typical mine life material blends (to be completed in the early July 2019).
In the third quarter of FY2019, AVL reported net cash outflow of $2.320 million through operating activities. The primary drivers of the cash outflow were exploration and evaluation expenses, staff costs and administration and corporate costs. Net cash inflow for the period stood at $0.121 million from the financing activities of the company. The company’s net cash and cash equivalents for the period stood at $7.341 million. The estimated cash outflow in the Q4 FY2019 is $2.400 million.
In the previous five years, the stock of AVL generated a return of 118.39%. At market close AVL is trading at $0.019 (As at 12:55 PM AEST, 29th May 2019). AVL holds a market capitalisation of $37.5 million and approximately 1.97 billion outstanding shares.
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