Hydrometallurgical testwork on King River Copper’s (ASX: KRC) Central deposit at Speewah has continued to improve purity in its vanadium pentoxide and titanium dioxide products, with a titanium dioxide product assaying 99.5% and further optimisation studies continuing.
TSW Analytical is undertaking hydrothermal and chemical precipitation testwork to set a framework for a scoping study into commercially producing vanadium electrolyte products for vanadium flow batteries.
Testwork to date has produced vanadium pentoxide grading 99.5% and titanium dioxide up to 99.5% – a substantial improvement on initial recoveries which were 99.1% vanadium and 85% titanium.
Situated in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, Speewah hosts measured, indicated and inferred resources of 4.7 billion tonnes grading 0.30% vanadium, 2% titanium dioxide and 14.7% iron.
The Central deposit alone has a resource estimate of 520mt grading 0.36% vanadium, 2% titanium and 14.8% iron.
Speewah tenements encompass 694 square kilometres in granted tenements including mining leases.
According to King River, Speewah hosts the largest titanomagnetite vanadium resource in Australia.
In addition to Speewah, King River is exploring the nearby Mt Remarkable project for gold, with a drill hole returning an 11m intersection grading 27.9 grams per tonne gold in November last year.
Vanadium redox flow batteries
Australian Vanadium (ASX: AVL) claims vanadium flow batteries will account for 30% of the growing renewable energy battery market.
It is anticipated this will result in 300,000t of new vanadium demand.
The University of New South Wales reported vanadium batteries can discharge and remain empty for long periods with no negative effects. The batteries are also scalable and have a 20-year life span.
Due to their larger size, most current vanadium batteries are used grid energy storage.
The university is working on developing generation two and three technologies to double the energy density and offer more efficient operation.
Shares in King River lifted 4% to A$0.052 in late morning trade.