QEM’s vanadium and oil shale pilot plant has been formally commissioned and is set to be running for up to six months.
Pre-commissioning testing works at the Melbourne headquarters of HRL Technology Group were conducted last month and the full-scale advanced testing program is now under way.
The pilot plant has been designed and developed to validate the company’s proprietary extraction process, ahead of a commercial demonstration plant.
QEM’s primary focus is the extraction of vanadium and oil shale, but the company will also integrate metallurgy work to investigate high-purity alumina (HPA) extraction potential, after a recent resource estimate at the Julia Creek vanadium and oil shale project in Queensland identified a material volume of aluminium.
HPA is a high-purity form of aluminium oxide and in March 2022 it was designated as a critical mineral in Australia.
QEM managing director Gavin Loyden said the commissioning of the pilot plant represents the continued positive progression of the Julia Creek project, as well as the latent value potential that can be captured.
The pilot plant was fabricated at AMAR’s facility in India. AMAR is a specialist manufacturer of high pressure, high temperature batch and continuous reactors and allied systems, whose client list includes General Electric, Shell, BASF and Bayer, among others.