TNG Limited (ASX: TNG) will seek to optimise its Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the Northern Territory by developing carbon dioxide-neutral technology to produce green hydrogen energy in partnership with German strategic engineering company SMS Group.
The company says SMS is advanced in its understanding of technology that allows production of hydrogen from various renewable, secondary or fossil hydrocarbon sources using plasma pyrolysis.
The German company, under a newly signed strategic partner development agreement, will coordinate the development of the process.
TNG says substantial quantities of carbon dioxide emissions could be eliminated with the introduction of green hydrogen as a reduction agent at its planned processing plant.
The electrical energy consumption of the new process will be between 15 and 18 kilowatt hours per kilogram of hydrogen, a third now used in the current electrolysis processes.
Hydrogen is seen by TNG as a way of differentiating itself from competing technologies used in the extraction of titanium, vanadium and iron from ore, sands and slags.
Opens up new business opportunities for TNG
TNG managing director Paul Burton said this was an exciting development for the company as a sustainable metals processor.
“There is a huge amount of momentum globally moving towards a hydrogen-based economy,” he added.
TNG claims the German technology also has the potential to be applied to the production of hydrogen and syngas from various fossil, biogenic and waste materials.
This will open up additional potential business opportunities for the two partner companies in the fast-growing space of the hydrogen and e-fuels economy. This would be outside TNG’s proposed core metals business.
Offtake agreement deadline extended due to COVD-19
In a separate announcement this week, TNG informed the market that it has been successful in extending the deadline for completing an offtake agreement.
Singapore’s Guvnor plans to take 40% of the vanadium pentoxide produced at Mount Peake, but due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic both parties have agreed to extend the date for completion of the offtake agreement until 30 September.
TNG earlier this month came another step closer to development with the appointment of KPMG Corporate Finance to assist with total project finance.
Stage one development was estimated last year to cost $824 million.
TNG’s plan is to build a mine and concentrator plant at the site 235km north of Alice Springs, then truck the concentrate 85km by road to connect with the Alice Springs-Darwin railway. The concentrate will then be railed to the Northern Territory capital for processing.
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.