--ADDS BROKER COMMENT--
A final alloy of almost 99% iron was produced from the bench-scale beneficiation, reduction and smelting tests, far purer than required for a commercial pig iron product.
Critically, said the company, the tests indicated that titanium and vanadium could be removed from the pig iron as separate by-products.
Assuming a final composition containing 4.0% carbon, the test work results showed a high quality pig iron product is possible with over 95% Fe (iron) after the removal of vanadium.
The tests also indicated local thermal coal is suitable for the reduction process and that the iron making process may be tailored for the carbon content to meet end user requirements.
Baobab has now shipped oxidised Tenge ore to the US for larger scale tests at FLSmidth’s facilities to confirm the final specifications of titanium and vanadium by-products.
Ben James, Baobab's managing director, said: 'the second round of pyrometallurgical results confirms the company's conviction that a high quality, low impurity pig iron can be produced from Baobab's iron ore resources and locally sourced thermal coal.
“Importantly, the test work also demonstrates the clean removal of titanium to the slag and that vanadium can also be separately liberated.
“Larger scale test work, using the DRI [direct reduced iron] produced in the pilot scale reduction simulation, will clarify the specifications of both by-products.”
Charlie Long at Sanlam Securities said: “The results published this morning bode well for larger scale test work as Baobab’s pig iron project takes shape.”
The analyst added that the company’s biggest challenges are funding the construction of a large-scale pig iron operation and getting the product to port.