Venus Metals Corporation (ASX: VMC) has lodged a patent application for the processing of vanadium oxide ore following a hydrometallurgical study conducted at its Youanmi project in Western Australia.
The company believes its unique open pit vanadium oxide resource at Youanmi in the state’s Midwest has the potential to be a significant supplier to the global vanadium market, particularly for the emerging renewable battery energy sector.
Venus today presented the results of a comprehensive study conducted by the Hydrometallurgy Research Group at Murdoch University to develop an integrated process flow sheet for the extraction of vanadium, iron and titanium.
Tests showed blended composite raw material grading 0.66% vanadium pentoxide and 44.38% hematite (iron oxide) could be upgraded by a simple concentrate process to 1.07% vanadium pentoxide and 65.3% hematite.
In addition, a reductive roast followed by low temperature acid leaching achieved a recovery of 80% vanadium and 80% iron.
The study also showed low acid consumption could be achieved after a 70% acid recovery by a new process.
Venus confirmed its provisional patent application for the Youanmi oxide ore process has now been lodged and accepted with IP Australia.
A techno-economic assessment of the beneficiation-leaching and recovery workflow is currently in progress.
Further to this, a pilot plant study is planned to commence this year, to be conducted at Murdoch University’s Kwinana industrial facility.
Other work planned includes a critical mineral grant application and a feasibility study targeting low capital and operating costs.
Youanmi vanadium resource
The vanadium deposit at Youanmi was estimated in 2019 to contain a measured, indicated and inferred oxide resource of 134.7 million tonnes grading 0.34% vanadium pentoxide, 6.27% titanium dioxide and 21.33% iron.
Venus owns 90% of the Youanmi vanadium oxide resource while a private prospector holds the remaining 10% interest. Venus is in a joint venture with Rox Resources (ASX: RXL) over the same exploration licence but for the gold rights only.