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A new metals-recovery process moves to the pilot scale

By Paul Grad |

Significant improvements to a process to extract vanadium, titanium and iron from the Mount Peake Vanadium-Titanium-Iron Project in the Northern Territory of Australia will be tested in a pilot plant now under construction and nearing completion. Results of the pilot-plant testing are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2015. The project, 230 km north of Alice Springs, is wholly owned by TNG Limited (Perth, Western Australia; www.tngltd.com.au), and has a total resource estimate of 160 million tons with 0.28 wt.% vanadium (V2O5), 5 wt.% titanium (TiO2), and 23 wt.% iron (Fe2O3). TNG and local metallurgical company Mineral Engineering Technical Services (Perth; www.metsengineer ing.com) have developed the TIVAN hydrometallurgical process to extract the metals from the titanomagnetite ores that make up most of Australia’s known vanadium deposits. The conventional pyrometallurgical process, involving salt roasting followed by water leaching, can pose environmental issues and is also capital intensive. The alternative TIVAN process (flowsheet) uses the combined process of acid leaching, solvent extraction and stripping to selectively recover the metals. According to TNG, the concept of employing a hydrometallurgical…
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