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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Rare Earths & Thorium: Latest News: October 4th 2019
:: Technology Trials Seek to Improve Platina Scandium Project Metrics
Plana Resources Limited (“Plana” or the “Company”) will seek to lower capital costs and enhance the revenue streams of its Plana Scandium Project near Condobolin in New South Wales by trialling two new technologies. The vat leaching trial will focus on leaching at atmospheric temperature and pressure where there is the potenal to lower capital costs.
Small-scale vat leaching
Plana will assess the applicaon of a small-scale vat leach technology used for nickel laterite ores to scandium processing in a bid to establish a smaller, lower cost project beer aligned to the low volumes of the current scandium market. While convenonal high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) may recover more metal, the technology is more complex, larger scale and requires considerably more capital. Core Metallurgy in Brisbane has been engaged to conduct the trial.
High purity alumina recovery
The Company has previously demonstrated that it could extract high purity alumina from clari?ed leach soluons produced from the recovery of scandium in a HPAL plant. However, recoveries were low. An alternave process technology will now be trialled to invesgate whether we can achieve beer recoveries of the aluminium which will be converted into high purity alumina, which has a premium value, and is used to manufacture sapphire glass and lithium-ion-baery separators.
Plana Managing Director, Corey Nolan, said emerging technologies promised to make the most of the Company’s scandium project.
“The aim of the trials is to ensure we develop a project that ulises all the high value metals available in the deposit,” Mr Nolan said.
“Vat leaching is smaller scale and is expected to be a far lower cost and could provide scandium to the market for product development. In the future, as the scandium market gets larger, HPAL processing could then be implemented, and improved recoveries of scandium, nickel and cobalt as well as an alumina by-product will enhance revenue streams signi?cantly and o?set the higher capital costs of the technology,” he said.
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