Today Globe Metals and Mining, an Australian-listed company, announced the completion of the Kanyika demonstration pilot plant at Guangzhou Research Institute of Non‐Ferrous Metals (GZRINM). The company sent a 40-tonne bulk sample from the Kanyika Niobium Project in Mzimba, northern Malawi, to China for the metallurgical pilot plant programme in early 2014.
The demonstration plant was undertaken to complete the company’s definitive feasibility study and the results will be used for re-modelling the project economics. The aims of this plant were to 1) operate on a continuous basis and optimise the process, 2) reduce operating costs, 3) improve recovery, 4) produce higher concentrate grade, and 5) produce concentrate sample for downstream market evaluation.
Globe’s Managing Director Alistair Stephens commented that
Globe is delighted with the results achieved by Prof. Zhang and the team at GZRINM. There were numerous challenges along the way which the team has successfully overcome. The program has improved recovery, improved concentrate grade, eased the metallurgical restrictions on the mining schedule, and made improvements to the plant design. These alone make the demonstration plant exercise a remarkable success.
The announcement highlighted the following results:
- Major improvements to grade and recovery are achieved
- Concentrate grade averages 24% Nb2O5,
- Nb2O5 recovery averages 77%,
- Concentrate grades up to 35% are achievable,
- Flotation process is now optimised and the flowsheet substantially derisked,
- Blending of mineralisation now not critical resulting in improved mine scheduling (yet to be evaluated)
- Concentrate samples are available for downstream testing and evaluation.
The full announcement can be downloaded here.