The company has received approvals to mine a circa 50,000 tonne bulk sample of high grade titanium at Barrambie and is awaiting road transport approval.
Grade control drilling has been completed in the area proposed for mining of the sample and assays are pending.
Examining DSO options
Neometals is examining direct shipping ore (DSO) options for the high grade titanium and vanadium as an option for project development.
Chris Reed, managing director, said: “With titanium and vanadium prices at near five-year highs and recent additions to the executive team, we are accelerating technical and commercial activities for Barrambie.
“With the natural advantages of the Barrambie resource we are confident of finding the best development option.”
The project hosts one of the world’s highest grade hard rock titanium deposits and also has significant levels of high grade vanadium.
Prices are at high levels due to strong demand in energy storage and pigment markets, exacerbated by Chinese production cutbacks due to environmental compliance issues.
Barrambie titanium and vanadium resource
Barrambie has a resource of 47.2 million tonnes at 22% titanium and 0.63% vanadium and within this is a higher grade vanadium resource grading 0.91%.
Beneficiation studies have shown this zone can be upgraded to concentrate zones of 1.4% vanadium while test work is showing titanium concentrate grades in excess of 36%.
The option of DSO with a titanium focus is the primary evaluation area for Neometals and comprehensive cost modelling has been undertaken.
Sample sent to Chinese processor
A representative sample of Barrambie DSO from the planned starter pits has been received by a Chinese titanium processor with performance tests to be completed on the sample.
The company has recently appointed former Iluka and Talison executive Paul Wallwork as general manager of marketing and product development.
Together with Eileen Hao, Neometals’ general manager in China, discussions with toll treatment operators as well as titanium and vanadium end users are progressing.