Initial metallurgical test work on Tando Resources’ (ASX: TNO) SPD vanadium pipes has confirmed the magnetic pipes could pose “significant upside” for the South African project.
Test work was undertaken on high-grade samples and wet low intensity magnetic separation yielded a concentrate assaying 2.03% vanadium and 13.3% titanium with minimal waste elements.
According to Tando, the results indicate SPD vanadium pipe mineralisation is “highly amenable” to the simple processing method, which means the mineralisation could be sold as a direct shipping ore to end-users without further treatment.
The next stage of test work will investigate the concentrate’s responsiveness to leaching via two different methods to achieve a battery grade product.
Under the first treatment, Tando will evaluate salt roasting the material then expose it to acid leaching, while the second method will look at direct leaching from the concentrate.
Established vanadium producers such as Largo Resources (TSX: LGO), Bushveld Minerals (LSE: BMN) and Glencore (LSE: GLEN) use the established roasting and acid leaching method.
The second direct leaching from magnetic concentrate treatment is not currently used in commercial vanadium production; however, Tando pointed out TNG Ltd (ASX: TNG) and King River Copper (ASX: KRC) have created their own proprietary processes for direct leaching a magnetic concentrate.
Last month, Tando uncovered high-grade vanadium in whole rock samples grading 2.08% and 2.02% during preliminary exploration at the pipes across SPD.
A ground magnetic survey has been planned across the project and Tando anticipates discovering more pipes that may be hidden under cover.
All the pipe mineralisation will be tested in the upcoming drilling campaign, with Tando looking to include the pipes in an updated mineral resource and future scoping studies.
SPD vanadium project
Tando secured SPD in March this year after it entered a heads of agreement to earn up to 74% of the project.
Previous drilling returned near surface, thick high-grade intersections of 14m grading 1.08% vanadium and 7.07% titanium, 17m grading 0.92% vanadium and 7.29% titanium, and 20m grading 0.96% vanadium and 8.35% titanium.
A SAMREC Code (2007) resource exists for the project which totals 513 million tonnes grading 0.78% vanadium.
The market reacted positively to this morning’s news, with Tando’s share price up 6.67% to A$0.24 in late morning trade.