Australian strategic metals developer TNG Ltd has been busy with a range of pre-development activities at its flagship 100%-owned Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project. A number of key milestones have recently been achieved including:
- Mine site EIS approved by NTEPA. Final determination from the Federal Government expected
- EIS for TIVAN® processing site in Darwin underway; awarded to experienced environmental consultants
- Negotiations advanced with Central Land Council for Mining Agreement
- Grant of Mining Lease expected by mid-2018 (subject to all other requirements)
- Fully-optimised TIVAN® flowsheet enabling final engineering and design (FEED) work
- Breakthrough in TiO2 pigment production process
- Negotiations advanced for life-of-mine titanium off-take agreement
- Construction proposals received
- Project Finance plan and schedule advanced
- Vanadium pentoxide and titanium pigment commodity prices increased
- TNG’s Vanadium pentoxide has been determined suitable for high purity electrolyte.
The permitting process for the Mount Peake mine site is now in its final stages following the completion of the Environmental Impact Assessment report (EIA) on TNGs EIS, by the Northern Territory Environmental Protection Authority (NTEPA) in late 2017. The NTEPA has provided an approved Assessment Report (EIA) and made recommendations to approve the go-ahead of the project, and has informed the next phase of mining approval under the Mining Management Act (NT) and Federal approval under the EPBC Act (Commonwealth).
The Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy (DoEE) has commenced its assessment process, which is now awaiting final determination and is expected to take approximately 30 days. TNG anticipates that it will hear from the EPBC shortly after this final determination is received.
TNG has commenced work to finalise its Mine Management Plan (MMP), incorporating the recommendations made by the NTEPA from the EIA, marking the beginning of the all-important transition to a mining project and clearing the way for financing and site-based construction to commence.
The Darwin-based TIVAN downstream processing plant EIS is being progressed separately to the mine site, reflecting both the geographical separation and the fact that significantly different environmental and social issues need to be addressed at the two locations.
TNG has appointed Perth-based specialist environmental group Animal Plant Mineral (APM) to oversee the EIS process for the TIVAN site, following its completion of the mine site EIS. APM, which comprises a group of expert environmental advisors and biologists, also managed the completion of the EIS process for the mine site. The work is expected to be concluded in the coming months.
TNG has been in negotiations with the Central Land Council (CLC) on the terms of the Mount Peake Mining Agreement for the past 12 months on finalising the proposed agreement. The process is progressing and expected to be concluded by April 2018.
TNG has met with the respective Aboriginal groups on several occasions over the past few years and has always received support for the project subject to the Mining Agreement terms.
The completion of a Mining Agreement and EIS will pave the way for the grant of a Mining Lease by the Northern Territory Government. Subject to all other requirements the Company anticipates that this will occur around mid-2018.
Following the completion of the updated feasibility study and optimised flowsheet for the Mount Peake project and the recently announced breakthrough production process for TiO2 pigment, TNG’s mine site concentrator and downstream TIVAN process flowsheet can be finalised. The mine site concentrator is fully optimised to produce a clean magnetite feed for TIVAN.
TIVAN process is optimised to produce three key commercial products, setting it apart from other producers:
- High-purity vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), and the ability to produce commercial-grade vanadium electrolyte and Ferro-Vanadium
- High-grade titanium dioxide (TiO2) with the ability to produce a high-quality pigment product from titanium feed residue
- High-purity iron oxide (Fe2O3) with the ability to produce Pig iron
TNG’s strategic engineering partner, SMS group, will oversee the Final Engineering and Design (FEED) work based on the final optimised TIVAN flowsheet and concentrate specifications.
TNG’s process and infrastructure engineering group, Como Engineers, has fully optimised the mine site magnetite concentrator equipment and flow sheet to produce a clean magnetite for feed into the TIVAN process.
New titanium process – a technological breakthrough for TiO2 pigment production at Mount Peake, as outlined in the ASX release of 26 February 2018, has cleared the way for the company to finalise the remaining titanium pigment off-take agreement. This discovery marks the culmination of extensive technical work that has been undertaken as part of the ongoing strategy to maximise value from Mount Peake.
TNG has received proposals for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the project and is currently reviewing potential partners who are best positioned and aligned with TNG’s development objectives.