NEVADO Resources has signed a letter of agreement with Kunming Metallurgical Research Institute of China Yunnan Metallurgical Group Co to demonstrate its mineral processing strategy at the La Blache deposit in northern Quebec, Canada. The Kunming Process separates, concentrates and recovers titanium, vanadium, and iron bearing minerals.

During October, Kunming China conducted preliminary mineralogy tests on a piece of selected titanium-vanadium-iron rich sample from La Blache property. It recommends that NEVADO should execute a two-stage program consisting of a bench-scale mineral processing study and a 20-tonne pilot plant demonstration test program, which will substantially complete proof-of-concept of the underlying metallurgical process.

Based on the physical and surface-chemistry properties of the titanium-vanadium-iron minerals, Kunming will use a physical separation method (mainly magnetic and gravity separation to concentrate magnetite-titanium-vanadium minerals) and a surface chemistry method (mainly flotation to concentrate ilmenite-magnesium minerals), which collectively form the Kunming Process.

NEVADO will deliver to Kunming China’s laboratory a 200kg sample of La Blache titanium-vanadium-iron rich material. Kunming China will then initiate the Kunming Process and will first examine the mineralogy of the sample and determine the grinding fineness (comminution study) to liberate titanium-vanadium-iron minerals and gangs from the sample matrix. A comminution study is a demanding processing technology because selection of the correct crushing and grinding process and equipment guarantees a successful separation process.

The first stage of the bench-scale study is defining the energy consumption of the sample, as well as a mineral liberation study to determine the correct grind size. The second stage is defining the mineral separation efficiency, which Kunming China will carry out through the Kunming Process. Kunming China will then issue to NEVADO the bench-scale report.

Upon receipt of a positive bench-scale report, NEVADO will deliver to Kunming China a 20-tonne bulk sample of the same La Blache material to process and deliver a continuous pilot plant test program. This will comprise a fully integrated circuit pilot plant run program (including optimization), to last for a minimum of 15 days and to process 1-tonne/day of the bulk sample, along with a final report including conclusions and recommendations. The test will provide more reliable technical and economic data on the process and efficiency in order to design a mineral processing plant.

The pilot plant test will also be compiled into a process model, which will be used to verify the overall energy and mass balance. The model will cover all process flows into, out of, and inside the various plant sections. Following this test, Kunming China will further conduct a bench-scale chemical leaching test to separate and/or concentrate titanium and vanadium products.

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