Syrah Resources: Further Metallurgical Results from Balama Graphite and Vanadium Project
October 23, 2013 (Source: Syrah Resources) — Highlights:
- Metallurgical testwork conducted by Syrah and testing by potential customers on Balama graphite consistently show that a 96%+ (and generally 97-98% concentrate) can be achieved through simple flotation.
- Testing is underway to convert Balama graphite to spherical graphite used in lithium ion batteries
- As noted in announcement of 20/8/2013, earlier metallurgical testwork showed that the magnetic vanadium bearing minerals can be concentrated to about 5% V2O5
by simple processing of the tailings from the graphite extraction process
- Further metallurgical testing shows that the non-magnetic vanadium bearing minerals (dominated by roscoelite) can also be upgraded by 4-5 times to achieve a V2O5 concentrate grade of about 2–2.5% V2O5
Syrah Resources (ASX: SYR) is pleased to report further metallurgical results from its 100% owned Balama Graphite and Vanadium deposit in northern Mozambique.
Previous testing Initial metallurgical testwork on a bulk sample from Balama showed that a concentrate grade in excess of 97%C was achieved with flotation recoveries of 87%. The bulk sample had a head grade of 11.2% organic carbon. The ash content of the concentrate was 2.24% and the sulphur content 0.01%. The testwork was performed by Mintek laboratories in South Africa. Full results from these initial results were reported to the ASX on 1 March 2012.
A potential customer tested samples of Balama graphite mineralisation in its facilities using simple flotation processes. The average graphite grades of the results over different size fractions for these samples are shown below:
Further large tonnages of outcropping mineralisation were sent to the lab for the purposes of obtaining a bulk sample of graphite product for marketing purposes. The results showed that a concentrate grade of 96.05% was achieved. Ash content (quartz and accessory biotite plus rutile) was 3.05% and sulphur content 0.03%. These results were achieved through simple flotation processes only without the need for chemical washing.
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All these results consistently show that a 96%+ (and generally 97-98% concentrate) can be achieved using simple flotation methods.
No vanadium is present in the graphite concentrate (below detection limit). No uranium minerals have been identified by mineralogical work on Balama graphite and no uranium has been detected in the graphite concentrate.
Samples have now been sent to many potential customers for them to test in their processes.
Testing has also commenced on converting Balama graphite to spherical graphite. Spherical graphite is used in lithium ion batteries. The current selling price for uncoated spherical graphite is approximately $3,500 per tonne.
On 20 August 2013, Syrah reported that initial vanadium testwork on Balama mineralisation showed that it could be upgraded by over ten times using magnetic separation. In this regard, a bulk sample of Balama Mualia mineralisation grading 0.46% V2O5 was upgraded to a V2O5 concentrate of 5.02% with recoveries of 75%. Essentially all the magnetic vanadium minerals such as ferro-vanadium magnetite, limonite and goethite were able to be recovered using magnetic separation. At the time of that testwork, the remaining 25% of the non-magnetic vanadium minerals reported to the tails. Syrah commented that it was confident that further testwork would result in further recovery of the vanadium.
Syrah has now conducted further tests on the upgrade of vanadium at Balama. Syrah can now confirm that magnetic rich mineralisation (dominated by magnetite) can be upgraded by 8-11 times to achieve a V2O5 grade of 4-5% by magnetic separation. Furthermore, non-magnetic mineralisation (dominated by roscoelite) can be upgraded by 4-5 times to achieve a V2O5 concentrate grade of about 2–2.5% V2O5.
These results are based on mineralisation grading at about 0.45% V2O5. With further optimisation, Syrah believes that these grades can be further improved upon.
It should be recognised that the vanadium mineralisation recoveries will be possible from the tailings of the graphitic recovery process. The vanadium recovery will be an additional product to the planned operation with minimal additional processing costs.
The information in this report as it relates to geology, geochemical, geophysical and exploration results was compiled by Mr. Tom Eadie, FAusIMM, who is a Competent Person and Chairman of Syrah Resources Limited. Mr. Eadie has more than 20 years experience in the activities being reported on and has sufficient expertise which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration. He consents to the inclusion of this information in the form and context in which it appears in this report.
Raj Shah has professional experience working for over a half a dozen years at financial firms such as Merrill Lynch and First Allied Securities Inc., ... <Read more about Raj Shah>