Our Project

The Richmond – Julia Creek Mineral Resource is hosted in soft oxidised marine sediments as opposed to many hard rock resources around the world.

Exploration is a relatively low impact process due to this.  With such a soft and shallow deposit aircore drilling is the preferred method and has been used previously in the area and by Richmond Vanadium.  Aircore drilling uses hardened steel or tungsten blades to bore holes into the soft ground.  An aircore drill rig is mounted on the back of a light truck or utility vehicle.  Each hole drilled is around 20 metres deep and 15 centimetres wide and takes less than half an hour to complete.  The drill rig consumes negligible water and makes little noise.  Following drilling the holes are capped with specialised hole plugs and covered over with soil, with minimal disturbance to the surface.

Richmond Vanadium project tenement locations and Mineral Resources
(See ASX:HRZ announcement dated 16 June 2020)

MINERAL RESOURCE

A small regional drilling program was undertaken in 2018. In late 2019 RVT completed an infill drilling program on the Lilyvale deposit comprising 333 aircore holes for 7,817m. The aim of the drilling was to infill previous drilling to enable an Updated Mineral Resource estimate at an improved JORC Category from Inferred to Indicated. The drilling was highly successful resulting in the updated JORC 2012 Lilyvale Deposit Mineral Resource Estimate of 0.56Bt grading 0.48% V2O5 for 2.6Mt V205 at a 0.30% lower cut off. The Mineral Resource update resulted in improved grades over the previous Mineral Resource Estimate, and importantly led to 76% of the Mineral Resource upgraded to the Indicated JORC Category for estimation of maiden Ore Reserves. Maiden Ore Reserve at the Lilyvale Deposit of 459.2Mt @ 0.49% V2O5 for 2.25Mt of contained V2O5 product.

Aircore drilling 2019

METALLURGICAL TESTWORK

Extensive metallurgical testwork initially focussed on upgrading the run of mine ore prior to downstream processing of the concentrate. Results from testwork has shown that 90% of the contained metal lies in the -38um size fraction. This fine fraction is amenable to removal via scrubbing, trommelling, screening, cycloning and potentially flotation to produce a high-grade vanadium concentrate of 1.82% V2O5 for smelting. Testwork completed in 2020 has shown that a 1.8% concentrate can be produced at 64% recovery.

PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY

A positive Pre-Feasibility Study was completed for the project, based on an initial 20 year life, demonstrating a financially viable project with the following key metrics :
– Shallow open pit mining producing 81.2Mt at a fully diluted grade of 0.49% V2O5 for
15.8Mt of 1.82% V2O5 concentrate with concentrate production on site
– Refining overall recovery at 86.1% produces 254,000 tonnes of 98% V2O5
commercial grade flake with average annual production of 12,700t V2O5
– Modest up-front capital costs of US$157.4m and operating cash costs of US$5.53/lb
of 98% V2O5 flake
– At spot price of US$7.10/lb V2O5, project generates NPV8% of US$150.0m

The PFS has an annual rate of production of 790,000 tonnes of concentrate, producing 12,701 tonnes
of 98% V2O5 flake. Operating costs of US$5.53 include mining, administration, concentration onsite,
transport and refining offshore. Capital costs of US$157.4m include construction of the concentrator
via EPCM inclusive of 20% contingency, in addition to a power station, railway siding, bores,
administration and accommodation facilities, and an offshore refining plant. Mining capital is provided
by the contractor and amortised into the mining rate. Consideration for refining onshore was
examined in the PFS, costing US$218.3m for the refining plant compared to US$72.1m in China.

The PFS completed in May 2020 and updated to reflect changes in the vanadium price in August 2021 provided an early-stage analysis of the Project.  Further work undertaken since this time, along with changing market conditions, indicate that the BFS will look more closely at the option of processing vanadium ore to flake in Australia.,

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