Perth-based resources group Atlantic Limited has successfully produced the first ferrovanadium at its flagship Windimurra project in Western Australia. This major milestone has prompted the company to accelerate the ramping up of production to full annual capacity of 6300 tonnes by March 2013, and in turn meet 7% of the world’s vanadium demand.
The use of vanadium as an alloy in steels to increase their strength and high temperature performance is growing drastically as developing countries catch up on urbanization and the provision of public infrastructure.
Atlantic’s managing director Michael Minosora says the company has enlisted specialist engineering groups to assist in the production ramp-up during the next 14 months. Works on the crushing, milling and beneficiation plant are expected to also improve the processing plant’s performance.
“The completion of successful process commissioning at Windimurra has demonstrated that Atlantic has the skills and expertise to bring a project of this magnitude into production in a short time frame which has included its acquisition, funding, construction and commissioning,” he says. “We are focused on production ramp up from current opening levels towards production capacity by quarter one of 2013.”
Windimurra is near Mt Magnet, about 600km north of Perth and hosts one of the largest proven vanadium reserves in the world. The Windimurra deposit lies within the eastern flank of the 2000sqkm Windimurra intruded layered gabbro complex, which is part of the regional Murchison granite-greenstone province.
The company is also anticipating making its first iron ore shipment from Geraldton port during the next few days, as the logistics chain for the iron ore is now in place.