Demonstration Plant - Ore Extraction Underway
- Decline development has been completed with the first 1,000 t of ore delivered to surface for processing.
- Staged commissioning of the site concentrator to commence shortly.
- Large-scale kiln & sulphur recovery equipment received to complete plant construction in Broken Hill.
Commenting on the recent progress Cobalt Blue's Chief Executive Officer, Joe Kaderavek said:
"Mining/crushing operations are now underway with progressive commissioning across the flowsheet to follow. We anticipate the Demonstration Plant will deliver over 3,000 kgs of cobalt products from June - November, providing technical validation of our processing technology, product quality and underpinning project investment.
We expect significant commercial interest over 2H 2022."
The Demonstration Plant comprises two phases of operation. Firstly, mined ore will be crushed, milled and treated to produce a cobalt-pyrite concentrate at the Pyrite Hill site. Secondly, the concentrate will then be trucked to the Demonstration Plant in Broken Hill for extraction and recovery of cobalt as mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) and/or cobalt sulphate.
Bulk Sample Extraction
The underground portal was established in late April and the decline subsequently advanced 85 m for commencement of ore drive development and extraction of the targeted ore tonnage.
The decline intersected mineralisation from 68 m with the advance delivering the first 1,000 t of ore for processing. A total of 3,500-4,000 t of ore will be mined from Pyrite Hill to support 20 weeks of continuous operation of the Demonstration Plant.
Approximately 78 m of planned development remains including:
- 48 m of cross strike development targeting intersection of the deposit footwall; and
- 30 m of strike parallel development.
Pyrite Hill Geology
The Pyrite Hill deposit extends over 1.2 km along strike, over 300 m down dip and varies in thickness from 10 to 100 m. Mineralisation is hosted by a quartz-albite gneiss and is characterised by the presence of disseminated pyrite concentrated parallel to primary foliation.
The remaining development at Pyrite Hill is planned to extract material from 257 mRL (approximately 40 to 50 m below surface) where the orebody demonstrates an apparent thickness of approximately 65 m. The development is 3 to 6 m below the interpreted top of fresh rock surface.
Demonstration Plant Update
Construction and installation of key equipment at the Pyrite Hill site has been completed with the finalisation of the electrical and process control system.
The multi-stage crushing plant has been mobilised to site and to date has processed and screened some 900 t of ore to -20 mm.
Of this, approximately 40% passing -4 mm has been directly forwarded to the plant for final milling reducing the ore feed to a desired particle size of -1 mm. This material is then being fed into the gravity concentrate circuit at a nominal rate of 9-10 t/hr.
Crushing operations will continue on a campaign basis with recirculation of oversize material and processing of remaining ore tonnes as mining progresses.
In Broken Hill, installation is continuing in readiness for delivery of the first batch of concentrate from Pyrite Hill. With receipt of the new large-scale kiln and sulphur recovery equipment, all major components are now onsite to complete the plant construction.
Current works are focussed on finalisation of the process control system.
Our strategy is focused upon maximising payable cobalt whilst participating in the strong growth of the lithium-ion battery market.
Unlike the traditional cobalt mining model, COB is an integrated refinery model capable of delivering first an intermediate Mixed Hydroxide product (MHP), which subsequently can be further refined into battery grade cobalt sulphate. The COB process-block flowsheet is shown below*.
*To view tables and figures, please visit:
About Cobalt Blue Holdings Limited
Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd (ASX:COB) (FRA:COH) (OTCMKTS:CBBHF) is an exploration and project development company. Work programs advancing the Broken Hill Cobalt Project in New South Wales continue. Our ambitious goals are subject to funding availability. Cobalt is a strategic metal in strong demand for new generation batteries, particularly lithium-ion batteries now being widely used in clean energy systems.
Cobalt Blue Holdings Limited