Strandline Resources (ASX: STA) believes a new set of “outstanding” metallurgical test results further strengthen the financial outlook, product offtake negotiations and funding strategy for its Coburn mineral sands project in Western Australia Mid-West.
Managing Director Luke Graham said the latest tests included optimisation to equipment settings and attritioning of the feed material and have further validated that Coburn can efficiently deliver premium-quality mineral sands products using conventional processing technology.
Mr Graham said they also demonstrate the scope to further increase recoveries and therefore production of the higher-value zircon and rutile final product streams.
The process enhancements are expected to increase average annual project revenues relative to the Coburn Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) announced in April-2019 and support current offtake and funding activities.
Mr Graham said the results strengthened Coburn’s outlook on several fronts.
These results show the proposed processing design will deliver increased recoveries and specifications which will in turn pave the way for increased revenue for no increase in capital or operating costs,” Mr Graham said.
“Strandline is now in advanced negotiations with major global consumers for long-term product offtake as part of the project financing process currently underway.
“The ability to produce highly-marketable products across the entire zircon and titanium mineral suite expands Coburn’s offtake and funding options.
“The Coburn project is development-ready and set to be a world-scale, long-life operation located in the well- established mining jurisdiction of WA, with proximity to key infrastructure.”
Strandline reported that “exceptional” high-quality final mineral sands products have been achieved from the latest confirmatory metallurgical testwork program. A representative bulk heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) sample produced during the DFS wet concentration plant (WCP) testwork was processed through an optimised mineral separation plant (MSP) flowsheet.
The tests were performed at TZMI’s Allied Mineral Laboratories and utilised full scale or scalable equipment configured as per the DFS flowsheet design (with no impact to DFS capital or operating cost estimates).
Optimisation of equipment settings and attrition scrubbing of the HMC feed material resulted in improved separation efficiencies of valuable minerals and product specifications.
The rutile (HiTi) product stream also benefited from directing more rutile mineral to the underutilised cleaner stages of the MSP, rather than reporting mineral into product earlier in the flowsheet. This resulted in a cleaner, higher TiO2 grade rutile of 93.3% TiO2 (up from 90.1% TiO2) as well as an improved rutile recovery from 70.9% to 84.7%.
The premium zircon product stream benefited from improving separation efficiency at each electrostatic separation stage of the MSP. This resulted in higher zircon recovery from 98.7% to 99.7%. MSP zircon recovery comprises 58.3% into premium zircon and a further 41.4% into zircon concentrate as contained zircon.
Mr Graham said the increase in pit-to-product recovery rates results in an increase to total average annual production and importantly, an increase to the higher-value premium zircon and rutile streams.