- King River Resources has made substantial advancements at its 100% owned Speewah Specialty Metals (SSM) Project in Western Australia, focused on the production of >4N (>99.99% Al2O3) High Purity Alumina (HPA).
- KRR in April 2020 reported the production of first >4N HPA by a new process developed by TSW Analytical Pty Ltd (metallurgical consultants).
- The Company has undertaken several metallurgical testwork and studies under the PFS, which is expected to be released as soon as the remaining outcomes are completed.
- Robust infrastructure with nearby facilities, strong resource base and substantial market prospects further enhance the lucrativeness of HPA production undertakings at Speewah Project.
The towering implications of COVID-19 have cut a swathe through operations of several businesses, battling to stay afloat amid the pandemic-induced uncertainty. Nevertheless, exploration endeavours of Australian specialty metals explorer, King River Resources Limited (ASX: KRR) bucked the trends, advancing triumphantly in the terrain of Western Australia.
Developments at the Company’s 100% owned Speewah Specialty Metals (SSM) Project have further climbed the ladder, backed by undauntingly consistent undertakings, strategic advantages, and the right guidance. Focused on the production of >4N (>99.99% Al2O3) High Purity Alumina (HPA), King River Resources has been engaged in the continuous progress of the Speewah Prefeasibility Study.
At the same time, the Company has also furthered exploration activities at its Mt Remarkable Gold Project in Western Australia amid the current buoyant gold market.
With this backdrop, let us explore the progress of SSM Project and various facets that are together fostering the project’s substantial advancements.
Recent Developments at SSM Project
Production of 4N HPA
In a Speewah PFS Update in April 2020, KRR highlighted success in producing its first greater than 4N HPA by utilising a new process, which was developed by its metallurgical consultants TSW Analytical Pty Ltd. Additional process optimisation is ongoing to improve recoveries, and testwork to verify grade and alumina phase.
The PFS has adopted a Kimberley focus, which would produce HPA, with future potential co-products Titanium (TiO2), Vanadium (V2O5) and Iron (Fe oxide) not being included as part of this initial study.
A number of metallurgical testwork results and progress culminated in the compilation of the Speewah PFS. The developments in the June Quarter were characterised by calcination of the HPA precursor at 1200°C, achievement of stage 2 purification efficiency of 81.5%, and identification of few sources of contamination in the reagents.
With a substantial focus on testwork and studies, KRR has made another round of latest PFS developments.
Strategic Location and Resources
Infrastructure nearby Speewah Project altogether enhances the lucrative prospects around its exploration and development activities. The close infrastructure incorporates sealed major highway, Ord River Dam and hydro-electric project, and Wyndham Port. The presence of such facilities altogether enhances the potential for fast-track project development.
Industry nearby is involved with servicing the Argyle Diamond Mine. Moreover, availability of a skilled workforce from Kununurra, stationed around 110 kilometres from the project, augments the lucrative prospects around the project.
Speewah Project embodies 4.7 billion tonne JORC resource, as indicated in vanadium resource estimates by an ERM Group Company, CSA Global Pty Ltd.
The Company has reported a Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource totalling 4,712 million tonnes at 0.3% V2O5, 3.3% TiO2 and 14.7% Fe.
Meanwhile, a Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource at the Central deposit is reported at a 0.23% V2O5 cut-off grade and includes 1,240 million tonnes at 0.31 V2O5, 3.3% TiO2, 14.6% Fe, 12.5% Al2O3 and 4.7% MgO.
The project embodies a flat-lying geometry of magnetite gabbro, which outcrops in the central deposit’s west. Furthermore, flat-lying nature also highlights the opportunity to mine with minimum waste.
Robust Market Opportunities
A detailed marketing study from CRU International, commissioned by KRR examined the prices and demand for four commodities that are targeted by the PFS.
The study pinpointed that both the demand and prices for 4N HPA are expected to boost in years to come, owing to the increased demand stimulated from two crucial high technology markets. Significantly, HPA is associated with unique physical and chemical properties that render it as an ideal product for utilisation in the growing high technology industries.
HPA applications in different industries include:
- HPA is the precursor material for manufacturing synthetic sapphire glass, which is used as a substrate in semiconductors, laser markets and light-emitting diode (LED) lights.
- Separators coated with HPA find their application in the production of lithium batteries.
An array of factors together is catalysing the advancing journey of King River Resources at its Speewah Specialty Metals Project. While the project and the targeted product-related elements have together boosted the achievement of significant milestones, robust leadership and guidance are offering the right direction to the activities.
KRR stock closed the day’s trade at $ 0.034 on 21 September 2020. The stock has generated a return of over 52% in the past six months.
With the pandemic continuing to affect the globe, healthcare companies are evaluating their lead compounds for COVID-19 treatment. Future revenue for these stocks depends on the probability of launching an approved treatment in the market.