King River Copper achieves highest vanadium concentrate grade in Australia

King River Copper ASX KRC Speewah vanadium
RC drilling at King River Copper's Speewah project.

Further testing at King River Copper’s (ASX: KRC) Speewah vanadium-titanium-iron project in Western Australia has returned the highest vanadium concentrate grade of all Australian deposits to date.

The resources explorer announced today that new magnetic separation test work had assayed 2.11% vanadium pentoxide, 16.23% titanium dioxide and 66.27% iron oxide.

In addition, mass yield increased to 16.58%, with improved vanadium pentoxide and titanium dioxide recoveries at a coarser grain size that rejected about 67% of the waste minerals in the sample.

According to King River, this beneficiation result showed that Speewah high-grade zone magnetite gabbro could be significantly upgraded by initial coarse grinding and magnetic separation methods to reject the majority of the waste minerals, before further upgrading the concentrate by grinding to 120 microns.

Along with further magnetic separation, this produced a magnetite-ilmenite concentrate of 2.11% vanadium pentoxide, which the company stated was “the highest vanadium concentrate grade of all Australian deposits”.

“All previous beneficiation test work had been done at much finer grind sizes where all the rock was ground to 45 microns before magnetic separation,” King River said.

According to the company, this new staged beneficiation circuit at coarser grain sizes had the potential to reduce the cost of producing a magnetite-ilmenite concentrate at the Speewah project.

King River said it planned further test work to improve the beneficiation process, but this final concentrate grind size of 120 microns already compared favourably with other Australian vanadium projects, where grain sizes of 75 and 106 microns have been reported.

These results follow the company’s announcement in late February that metallurgical testing on Speewah ore had achieved a 99.48% pure vanadium pentoxide.

King River is targeting a purity rate between 99.5% and 99.9% through a vanadium concept study being currently conducted at the project.

It has been a positive week for King River, with the company also announcing it had applied for three large exploration licences covering the surrounding area of its Mt Remarkable project, prospective for high-grade gold.

King River shares were up 9.7% on today’s announcement by early afternoon trade on Wednesday.