King River Copper (ASX: KRC) emerged from a trading halt this morning with news metallurgical testing on its Speewah project ore has achieved a 99.48% pure vanadium pentoxide.
The results were part of the company’s vanadium concept study in its attempt to produce a vanadium purity between 99.5% and 99.9% from its flagship Speewah project.
Test work was undertaken on ore from the Central deposit, with hydrochloric acid leach treatment resulting in 97% to 99% vanadium, 95% to 97% titanium and 96% to 98% iron from the vanadium-titanium concentrate.
As part of the study, TSW Analytical is exploring various processing techniques to produce vanadium electrolyte for use in the emerging vanadium flow battery sector.
TSW is also researching with Speewah ore to also generate a high purity titanium dioxide. The analyst is trialling chemical precipitation methods combined with controlling acidity, redox and temperature, which is different to the traditional salt roast or solvent extraction methods.
The three-stage process produced the 99.48% purity vanadium pentoxide which limited contaminants of 0.29% iron, and 0.17% sodium.
Meanwhile other metallurgical test work on Speewah ore returned a 99.5% pure titanium dioxide at the end of last month, which King River hopes to boost to 99.9% titanium dioxide.
Previous testing last year offered up initial recoveries of 99.1% vanadium and 85% titanium, with purity shown to be improving with subsequent testing.
The company is also investigating producing a titanium metal sponge product from the ore to add further value.
Speewah is located in Western Australia’s Kimberley region and includes 694 square kilometres of granted tenements.
King River claims Speewah hosts Australia’s largest titanomagnetite and vanadium resource which currently sits at 4.7 billion tonnes at 0.30% vanadium, 2% titanium and 14.7% iron.
TNG (ASX: TNG) is a fellow vanadium-titanium explorer investigating the potential of unlocking the value of its similar ore found at its flagship Mount Peake project in the Northern Territory.
The company has been working on extracting vanadium, iron and titanium dioxide from Mount Peake since 2009, and only yesterday reported a breakthrough where it produced titanium dioxide pigment from its ore.
TNG developed its patented TIVAN process for extracting the three primary minerals and is continuing to refine the process to enhance its project’s economics.
To-date, despite the high value ore, extraction methods have proved uneconomic. However, as technologies are refined, and the commodity market improves, the potential of these projects is huge, with TNG’s updated definitive feasibility study into Mount Peake last year projecting life-of-mine net cash flow of almost A$12 billion.
Shares in King River rocketed more than 22% to A$0.07 by midday.