Neometals (ASX:NMT) Completes Successful Vanadium Pilot Trials

Neometals (NMT) has completed its vanadium recovery project trials after 24 days of continuous assessments in Perth.
The pilot trial saw around 14 tonnes of vanadium-bearing steel by-product processed over more than three weeks from three steel mills.
Results confirmed the vanadium chemical product was of an excellent purity, consistently higher than 99.5 per cent vanadium oxide. Maximum recoveries exceeded 75 per cent during its steady state for the company’s pending hydrometallurgical process for recovering vanadium from slag.
Neometals is funding and managing the evaluation activities and will gain a 50 per cent interest in an incorporated joint venture with Critical Metals if successful, following a collaboration agreement from April 2020.
The pilot has now been constructed, commissioned and has operated continuously through three trials, one for each source of slag, without any incidents or process challenges.
An increase in vanadium concentrations was achieved during the pilot compared to an earlier mini-pilot plant, which the company says offers potentially significant operating and capital cost savings in the product recovery stages of the process.
Neometals Managing Director Chris Reed said this milestone gives the company confidence to begin a feasibility study and provide larger samples for product evaluation and begin offtake discussions.
“Data from the pilot will now feed into our feasibility study to confirm potential lowest quartile operating costs and leading capital cost estimates from the earlier PFS,” said Chris Reed.
“The pilot has significantly de-risked the project enabling the acceleration of commercial offtake discussions, reagent sourcing and approvals processes for the development of the project at the Port of Pori, Finland.”
Neometals says it’s now finalising the process design package and selecting an engineer contractor to deliver a feasibility study by June 2022.
In the meantime, product samples will continue to be progressively delivered to potential offtake partners to advance commercial discussions.