Positive Metallurgical Testwork Results from Richmond Vanadium Project
- First pass pre-concentration testwork completed on samples from the Lilyvale prospect area, part of the Richmond vanadium project in northwest Queensland
- Pre-concentration tests aimed at upgrading the run of mine ore utilising gravity, screening and flotation prior to downstream processing
- Test work completed by Beijing General Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the Hunan Research Institute for Nonferrous Metals in China
- Both Institutes account for over 60% of test work conducted on vanadium in China with testwork programs jointly developed using AXF's in-house expertise and the considerable experience of both institutes
- Particle size analysis confirms previous work where 90% of the contained V2O5 reported to the fine size fractions below 43micronm
- Initial two-stage concentration tests resulted in a 1.1% V2O5 grade in 39% of the mass at a 78.4% recovery
- Further testwork underway to optimise the pre-concentration stages with the aim of delivering a 1.5% - 2% V2O5 feed stock at acceptable recovery for downstream processing testwork (see Note 1 below)
- The Lilyvale prospect has an Inferred Mineral Resource (JORC 2012) of 670Mt grading 0.35% V2O5 at a 0.29% cut-off grade (see Note 2 below)
- Lilyvale is the initial development focus and forms part of the greater Richmond project with a Mineral Resource of 2,579Mt grading 0.32% V2O5 at a 0.29% cut-off grade (see Note 2 below)
- The project is subject to an earn-in Joint Venture with AXF Vanadium Pty Ltd ("AXF") whereby AXF can earn 75% by spending $6m by March 2021 (see Note 3 below)
- Infill drilling at the shallow oxide Lilyvale prospect is planned for the September Quarter to upgrade the resource to the Measured and Indicated categories and to provide additional metallurgical samples
Commenting on the results, Intermin Managing Director Mr Jon Price said:
"The first pass results from Lilyvale are extremely encouraging and confirm the historic testwork completed by Intermin over the last decade. To have highly credentialed research institutes in China delivering 78% of the vanadium into 39% of the mass at good grades bodes well for the optimisation testwork now underway."
"We look forward to further results and moving forward with AXF on the downstream processing studies and upgrading the Lilyvale resource. With the soft oxide mineralisation just 4m below surface at Lilyvale, the scale of the project has the potential to compete with any world class vanadium deposit and meet the supply needs of both the steel and emerging energy storage markets."
AXF Vanadium Managing Director Dr Shaun Ren added:
"These initial results have provided us with growing confidence in the project and formed the basis to move to the next stage where we have committed a further A$5m to optimise pre-concentration, commence downstream processing work and develop a pathway to commercial production."
As announced to the ASX on 19 September 2017, Intermin completed a formal Joint Venture agreement with AXF over the Richmond project. AXF brings considerable technical expertise to the project and has extensive business relationships throughout Southeast Asia.
Details of the agreement between the parties include:
- An earn-in Joint Venture whereby AXF can earn 25% of the project area by spending A$1m within a one year period and maintaining the project in good standing
- AXF to solely contribute to further expenditure of A$5m on the project to earn a further 50% over a three year period, inclusive of the completion of a Feasibility Study on part or all of the project area
- During the sole funding period, AXF will manage the project with direction from the JV committee comprising representatives from both parties
- Upon AXF satisfying the earn-in terms, each party will contribute to ongoing expenditure in accordance with its respective percentages
AXF has now formally committed to the stage 2 expenditure commitment of A$5m over 3 years to March 2021 inclusive of a Feasibility Study on commercial production.
Metallurgical Testwork (see Note 5 below)
In late 2017, AXF collected approximately 1.2 tonnes of vanadium samples from the Lilyvale prospect area for despatch to two research laboratories in China:
- Beijing General Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (BGRIMM), a leading institute directly under the Chinese central government providing innovative technology, diversified products and process-orientated engineering services in mineral and material industries worldwide. With ISO 9001 accreditation, the institute provides complete solution integrating R&D, engineering and equipment manufacture.
- Hunan Research Institute for Nonferrous Metals (HRINM), established in 1958, is the first intellectual property-intensive research institute in the Hunan Province focussed on R&D, metal mining, process selection, smelting and new alloys development.
The ore at Lilyvale comprises soft oxidised limestone rich clays from surface to 15m depth where the oil has been leached out and the enrichment of vanadium and other metals including molybdenum, nickel and copper has occurred. The Lilyvale area has the highest grade of the four prospects (see Figure 2 in link below), is closest to surface for simple open cut free dig mining and is amenable to pre-concentration at site to provide a higher grade feedstock with lower mass.
Testwork programs were jointly developed using AXF's in-house expertise and the experience of both institutes with both programs supervised by AXF's senior technical staff. Initial testwork completed during the December and March Quarters focussed on ore pre-concentration of the run of mine ore. Previous testwork completed by Intermin indicated upgrading of the ore could be achieved by physical means.
Ore mineralogy and particle size analysis has shown that over 90% of the vanadium resides in the fine fractions of the ore below 43 microns. Effective separation and removal of the coarse fraction enables concentration of V2O5 and removal of a significant proportion of the calcite that can impact downstream processing and reagent consumption.
The first phase of the testwork involved additional particle size analysis to confirm historic work followed by single stage and 2 stage concentration tests using a combination of screening, gravity and flotation.
Results of the particle size analysis is shown below as Table 1 (see link below).
As can be seen by the table, 89% of the contained metal reports to the -43um size fraction and 84% to the -20um size fraction confirming historic work completed by Intermin.
Representative samples were dried and crushed ahead of the pre-concentration testwork and single stage tests commenced to assess amenability of different physical separation processes including screening, gravity and flotation. This was followed by a two stage process utilising results from the single stage tests.
Table 2 below shows the results of the 2 stage test. (see link below)
The results show that 78% of the vanadium was recovered in to 38% of the original mass at a grade of 1.1% V2O5. This initial work provides a solid basis for further optimisation work to upgrade the run of mine ore by physical separation ahead of downstream processing.
Optimisation work is now underway to further improve the initial results ahead of downstream processing testwork using proven but commercially sensitive and proprietary technology. This optimisation work is expected to be completed in the September Quarter of 2018. Further updates will be released in the December Quarter where the results do not conflict with confidentiality agreements. Infill drilling at Lilyvale is planned for the September Quarter to upgrade the resource and provide additional samples for ongoing testwork.
Lilyvale is located 20km northwest of the Richmond Township and in close proximity to the Flinders Highway and Great Northern Railway line. The current resource totals 671Mt grading 0.35% vanadium pentoxide, 274g/t molybdic oxide (see Note 6 below) and commercially significant copper and nickel mineralisation (see Figure 4 in link below). The deposit is 10-12m thick, up to 5km wide and over 6km long and is open in all directions. The prospect is hosted within marine sediments and differs significantly from the hard rock titaniferous magnetite deposits.
The mineralisation commences 5m from the surface and, as with all the prospects, occurs in two different facies:
1. Oxidised coarse limestone rich clay unit from surface to 15m depth where the oil has been leached out and enrichment of vanadium and other metals has occurred (see Figure 4 in link below). Previous test work had shown that over 90% of the contained metal lies in the -38micronm size fraction (see Note 7 below)
2. Fresh fine grained carbonate - clay - oil shale unit containing vanadium, molybdenum, nickel, copper and significant oil content of 65-75 litres of oil per tonne of shale (see Note 7 below)
Initial development work will focus on the upper mineralised zone at Lilyvale as it:
- Is the highest grade based on the drilling to date with the mineralisation 4-5m from surface
- Can be mined simply by free dig open cut mining at very low strip ratios
- Is amenable to low cost removal of the coarse fraction via scrubbing, trommelling, screening, cycloning and flotation to produce a high grade intermediate feedstock grading ~1.5% - 2% V2O5. Metallurgical testwork continues at two research Laboratories in China to further assess the optimal upgrade ratios and recoveries. (see Note 6,7 below)
- Has been subject to extensive downstream processing testwork for metal extraction.
- Is close to road and rail infrastructure, ports and Asian markets
1 See Forward Looking and Cautionary statement on Pages 6 and 7
2 As announced to the ASX on 20 March 2018
3 As announced to the ASX on 19 September 2017
4 As announced to the ASX on 20 March 2018, see also table and Competent Persons Statement on Page 6
5 As announced to the ASX on 20 March 2018. See also JORC Tables in Appendix One on Page 7
6 See Competent Persons statement and JORC tables on Page 6.
7 As announced to the ASX on 20 March 2018
To view tables and figures, please visit:
About Intermin Resources Limited
Intermin Resources Limited (ASX:IRC) is a gold exploration and mining company focussed on the Kalgoorlie and Menzies areas of Western Australia which are host to some of Australia's richest gold deposits. The Company is developing a mining pipeline of projects to generate cash and self-fund aggressive exploration, mine developments and further acquisitions. The Teal gold mine has been recently completed.
Intermin is aiming to significantly grow its JORC-Compliant Mineral Resources, complete definitive feasibility studies on core high grade open cut and underground projects and build a sustainable development pipeline.
Intermin has a number of joint ventures in place across multiple commodities and regions of Australia providing exposure to Vanadium, Copper, PGE's, Gold and Nickel/Cobalt. Our quality joint venture partners are earning in to our project areas by spending over $20 million over 5 years enabling focus on the gold business while maintaining upside leverage.
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