17/10/14 – Brazilian pig iron suppliers fail to maintain prices to USA

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Bench and pilot scale metallurgical testwork at Aim-listed Baobab Resources’ Tete pig iron and ferrovanadium project, in Mozambique, have confirmed the chosen technology route for the project, MD Ben James said on Wednesday.

He noted that the results, to date, had also identified areas where process optimisation had the potential to significantly improve the robust economics of the 2013 prefeasibility study (PFS).

Boabab outlined that direct reduction testwork had achieved up to 65% metallisation using coarse iron concentrate and local coal, while optimisation trials testing the direct reduction characteristics of pelletised iron concentrate and local coal had returned significantly improved results of up to 93% metallisation.

“The higher metallisation and consistent sizing of pellets would enhance kiln performance and furnace productivity, thereby improving operating costs,” the company said.

Further, the company noted that it had conducted pilot trials simulating a smelting operation where melting was achieved and a titanium slag generated and removed, after which the molten, vanadium-bearing, hot metal was refined to produce a vanadium-rich slag and a pig iron.

These tests have confirmed that the titanium could be readily separated from the iron as a primary slag, and that the secondary vanadium slag recovery stage was successful with in excess of 80% of the total vanadium reporting to the vanadium slag.

The company indicated that these vanadium results were in line with global benchmark operations in New Zealand and South Africa, adding that the final pig iron product reported low impurities and was within commercial specifications.

James further noted that Baobab, in conjunction with various potential partners, had been closely assessing opportunities to reduce capital and operating costs, thereby further mitigating execution risk and improving investor returns.

Source – miningweekly.com