Platina Resources (ASX:PGM) has commissioned SNC-Lavalin Australia to develop and manage a comprehensive hydrometallurgical testwork program for the extraction of scandium and associated metals of platinum, copper, cobalt and nickel from its Owendale Deposit in New South Wales.
The current program will provide the basis for a Scoping Study to investigate the initial economic attractiveness of several hydrometallurgical options for the development of the resource.
Other options to be investigated include direct shipping of ore to a processing plant in China, or a partial processing of a concentrate in Australia.
The hydrometallurgical test work program is scheduled to commence on 5 November 2014 and will take 7 weeks to complete.
Work will include a range of leaching options including Solvent Extraction tests and will be used to investigate the preliminary economics and viability of several project options and identify which of these are the most attractive to take to the pre-feasibility and final feasibility stage.
Other aspects of the Owendale project such as environmental baseline studies and requirements for a mining lease application are currently being reviewed will be formalised and advised in due course.
Platina is currently progressing negotiations with two Chinese manufacturers who have signed Heads of Agreement, and the commencement of the Scoping Study at Owendale is a major milestone towards development of the deposit.
The Owendale Project hosts an Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 24 million tonnes of scandium grading 384ppm scandium at a cut-off of 300ppm, and contains a total in-situ content of 9,100 tonnes of scandium metal or 14,000 tonnes of scandium oxide.
Owendale is the world’s largest, highest-grade laterite hosted scandium deposit boasting a low cost, simple mining operation due to the resource being within 55 metres of surface and close to existing infrastructure.
Owendale has the potential to be a scandium price-setter and enable introduction of wider applications due to a lower scandium price.
Demand is growing for scadium in aerospace components, sports equipment, electronics, solid oxide fuel cells, high-power metal halide lamps and lasers.
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