Australian Vanadium says it has recovered cobalt, nickel and copper in a sulphide concentrate from the Gabanintha vanadium project in Western Australia.
The company, which previously reported cobalt assays from drilling in fresh rock containing vanadium in magnetite, believes another saleable battery metal opportunity has been added to its flagship project with these results.
Including cobalt as a Gabanintha by-product would be a major bonus for Australian Vanadium, with prices for the metal currently reaching all-time highs of around $US90,500/t.
Australian Vanadium extracted sulphide concentrate containing up to 6.3 per cent base metals – cobalt, nickel and copper – from the non-magnetic tail produced when preparing magnetic vanadium concentrate.
Managing director Vincent Algar said the company had been interested in the implications for the project since initially identifying this opportunity.
“Adding a high-value battery focused metal to the product suite at Gabanintha could potentially prove an important revenue stream, further enabling Australian Vanadium’s Gabanintha project to be on the lowest end of the vanadium cost curve,” Algar said.
“A preliminary design and costing for a sulphide recovery circuit has been added to the pre-feasibility study (PFS) scope in light of these results.”
Australian Vanadium is preparing a mineral resource update that will include sulphur and base metals, allowing these components to be included in the pit-optimisation and PFS studies being developed.
The company plans to engage potential Australian and international buyers to discuss terms for the sale of a sulphide concentrate.
Bryah Resources holds the rights to any nickel, copper and gold recovered from production at Gabanintha. Australian Vanadium would, however, still benefit from this development due to its 14 per cent stake in Bryah.