Mindoro Resources’ joint venture partner TVI Pacific has announced an update on test work results for the Agata nickel laterite ore project. The positive results of the Beijing General Research Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (BGRIMM) pilot plant mark another step forward for the Agata North project in northern Mindanao.

Highlights:

  • Results confirm excellent leachability obtained during bench-scale testing;
  • 93.5-94.5% nickel extraction obtained over the two-stage leaching process;
  • Favourable acid consumption in the range of 48-50 t acid/t nickel leached;
  • Vendor test work completed and all design parameters obtained for pre-leach thickener, counter-current decantation and residue filtration design;
  • 8000 litres of Pregnant Leach Solution produced from BGRIMM leaching campaign and shipped to producer for offtaker evaluation;
  • TVI’s Philippine pilot plant commissioned and production of NHP to commence in the second half of October.

On June 5 TVI announced positive results of bench scale tests indicating the Agata ore is highly amenable to acid leaching. The next step was to then run a continuously operated pilot plant at BGRIMM’s research facility in China, to test and obtain design data for feed ore screening/classification/thickening, primary and secondary leaching, counter-current decantation (CCDs), residue neutralization and residue filtration.

The BGRIMM pilot plant operation was conducted from May to July and the results were encouraging and in line with expectations as obtained from positive bench-scale test work.

Approximately 8000 litres of the nickel-rich liquor from the BGRIMM pilot leaching plant was shipped to the Philippines for feed stock to the TVI nickel purification and recovery pilot plant, established to produce a Nickel Hydroxide Product (NHP, containing about 50-53% nickel).

Some of this liquor was also tested at BGRIMM in a continuous pilot plant campaign configured to produce a Mixed Hydroxide Product (MHP) containing at least 36% nickel. This will allow TVI to evaluate the process option of producing MHP compared to NHP.

Key outcomes include an overall nickel extraction of 93.5-94.5% may be consistently achieved at an acid consumption of 48-50 t acid/t nickel leached.  This has been shown as a result of an extensive BGRIMM pilot plant campaign, in which 4300kg of feed ore was leached, according to TVI officials.

TVI and Mindoro have signed four JV agreements relating to the Agata and Pan de Azucar projects on the islands of Mindanao and Panay, respectively. The joint ventures allow TVI multiple growth opportunities for near-term and medium-term cash flow generating potential. Under the agreements TVI has the ability to earn up to a 60% interest and will act as operator of the projects.
www.mindoro.com or www.tvipacific.com