Greenland Minerals and Energy (ASX: GGG) has conclusively demonstrated that a high grade flotation concentrate can be produced from Kvanefjeld ore, with results far exceeding both feasibility design and results achieved in bench‐scale laboratory test work.
The Kvanefjeld concentrator pilot plant campaign has achieved a concentrate grade of 15% rare earth oxides with a lower level of impurities present compared to the results achieved in bench‐scale laboratory test‐work.
Importantly, successfully completing this continuous piloting campaign represents the final phase of process de‐risking for the concentrator circuit in the Kvanefjeld flow‐sheet.
Between the 19th and 22nd of November 2012, Greenland continuously operated a flotation pilot plant at the laboratory of SGS‐Oretest in Perth, Western Australia.
The pilot plant produced about 300 kilograms of rare earth mineral concentrate from 4 tonnes of Kvanefjeld ore.
Damien Krebs, metallurgy manager, told Proactive Investors today Greenland will be sending samples of the concentrate produced to a range of potential joint venture partners around the world that are interested in building the refinery and joint venturing on the project.
"Basically we'll be looking at a combination of either joint venturing across the concentrator and the refinery or possibly just selling the concentrate as part of an offtake agreement."
The program successfully used Jameson Cells in a scalper/rougher duty to produce final grade concentrate in a single step.
The smooth operation of the pilot plant is a reflection of the overall simplicity of the concentrator circuit.
Damien Krebs, metallurgy manager, commented: "I haven't been involved in a pilot plant campaign where everything has gone so smoothly and in which metallurgical results so clearly exceeded expectations.
"The results confirm that few REE ore‐types, particularly those enriched in heavy REEs, can be as effectively and simply upgraded as those from Kvanefjeld."
The results of the concentrator pilot plant campaign will be incorporated in the process design which will form part of the final Feasibility Study for the concentrator.
The significant increase in concentrate grade achieved in the pilot plant is expected to lead to further reductions in both operating and capital costs.
Once off‐line test work that is required to confirm equipment selection has been finalised, metallurgical development for the concentrator will be complete.
The success of the pilot plant campaign is a watershed moment in the development of the Kvanefjeld multi‐element project.
Greenland has conclusively demonstrated that a high grade flotation concentrate can be produced from Kvanefjeld ore.
Significantly, the increase in concentrate grade achieved in the pilot plant is expected to lead to further reductions in both operating and capital costs.
Greenland has now established a very sound technical basis for the completion of Kvanefjeld's Feasibility Study process design, as well as produced concentrate to provide to potential offtake partners.
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