Tawana delighted with circuit test run
Performance testing on Tawana Resources newly commissioned dense media separation circuit at the Bald Hill lithium mine has trumped its expected throughput rates, boss Mark Calderwood says.
Tawana reported DMS primary gravity concentration circuit has exceeded the nameplate throughput rate over a 24-hour performance test run at the mine, 50km south-east of Kambalda.
Tawana processed 4152 tonnes of ore over a 24-hour period through the circuit, which started producing lithium on March 14, at an average processing rate of 173t per hour.
Initial sampling of the primary concentrate returned grades up to 7.03 per cent Li2O.
Mr Calderwood championed the results and said it was consistent with test work in the circuit’s development phase.
“To produce concentrates with more than 6 per cent Li2O, within the first two weeks of ore commissioning exceeds expectations given the initial low-feed-grade ore being used for commissioning start up,” he said.
“It is particularly pleasing to see predicted plant performance being achieved in practice.
“The high quality of concentrates appears to be testament to the favourable mineralogy-metallurgy of the Bald Hill deposit and the bespoke design of the DMS circuit.”
Bald Hill is a joint venture with the ASX-listed Tawana and Singapore-listed Alliance and Mineral Assets Limited.
Earlier this month, Mr Calderwood announced the new 1.2 million tonne circuit’s full production — a rate of 150,000 tonnes of spodumene annually — was expected to be reached by July.
The managing director also said its output was poised to increase to 220,000 tonnes after the construction of a fine circuit, which is expected before the end of this year. The maiden lithium concentrate product is scheduled to be delivered next month.
Tawana Resources closed unchanged at 45¢ on Thursday.