German metallurgical firm SMS Group has delivered most of the front-end engineering and design (FEED) study and requirements list for the Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the Northern Territory owned by TNG Ltd (ASX: TNG).
TNG’s project team is currently reviewing the information it has at hand, which includes key deliverables of the front-end loading-3 (FEL-3) design for the proposed Darwin-based processing facility based on TNG’s proprietary TIVAN technology.
The FEL-3 study for the proposed beneficiation plant was completed and delivered to TNG last month.
SMS has advised TNG that ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns in Germany and Austria have impacted some of the final test work deliverables for the FEED study, but these are being addressed with completion expected in the coming months.
However, the indicative FEED capital cost for the beneficiation plant has been estimated at $146 million.
TNG’s plan is to build a mine and beneficiation plant at the Mount Peake project site 235km north of Alice Springs, then truck the concentrate 85km by road to connect with the Alice Springs-Darwin railway, with the concentrate then being railed to the Northern Territory capital for further refining.
The TIVAN processing plant is to be located at the Middle Arm Precinct in Darwin.
Long-life project producing strategic materials
Mount Peake is intended to be a long-life project producing a range of high-quality, high-purity strategic materials including vanadium pentoxide, titanium dioxide pigment, and iron ore fines.
The beneficiation plant at the mine site has been designed to process 2.1 million tonnes a year of titanomagnetite ore and produce 700,000t of magnetite concentrate.
That concentrate will be shipped to the Darwin plant for final processing.
Last month, Mount Peake was designated a federal major project by industry, science and technology minister Karen Andrews.
The SMS study for the processing plant includes an equipment list, a logistics concept, major equipment specification, detailed plot plans as well as process description, along with a validation test work program and a 3-D model of the plant and process.
Most design information gathered
TNG managing director and chief executive officer Paul Burton said with the non-process infrastructure design work now completed, along with the beneficiation plant for the mine and most of the deliverables for the Darwin processing plant, the company now has most of the design and engineering information needed for Mount Peake – paving the way for the technical team to begin a detailed review.
“In parallel, we are fully engaged with the Northern Territory Government agencies to complete final permitting and approvals for the project.”
These include approval of the environmental protection plan for the Darwin plant by the NT Environment Protection Authority.
Mr Burton said TNG was now moving to the next execution phase and project finance.
Meanwhile, TNG and SMS will develop an “enhanced, final project execution model” to ensure capital expenditure for the Mount Peake project is optimised.