--ADDS BROKER COMMENT--
Additional metallurgical work boosted the concentrate grades to 37.9% phosphates from 33.3% while recoveries rose to 53% from 42%.
Phosphates would be a valuable by-product credit to improve the economics of the iron ore deposit but was treated as waste in a scoping study in 2013.
Fortune Mojapelo, Bushveld’s chief executive, said: "The flotation test work on the phosphate mineralisation within the hanging wall of the P-Q Zone helps us to identify options to monetise the resource and improve the economics of the overall project.
"We are also pleased to see recoveries exceeding 50% and a premium 37.86% P2O5 concentrate grade in this test work, which bode well for the resource modelling already underway.”
Mojapelo added that next steps will be to ensure mineralisation is robust enough to be modelled into a JORC resource and that it can be beneficiated into a saleable product with sufficient recoveries.
Broker RFC Ambrian commented that low P2O5 recovery of 53% would not generally be economic, but given that this material is in the hanging wall and effectively waste there is no mining cost.
Even so, for the amount of capex required the recoveries still look too low and more work may be needed to improve these and the economics of the phosphate project further.