Aug 11, 2020

Promising vanadium tests for QEM’s Julia Creek project

Promising vanadium tests for QEM’s Julia Creek project The QEM tenements (bounded in red) relative to Julia Creek infrastructure and the proposed CopperString 2.0 transmission line corridor.

QEM says it is seeing impressive vanadium extraction results from test work at its flagship Julia Creek project.

The project hosts oil shale resources as well as vanadium, so the company has been working to fine tune efficient extraction of both commodities to maximise the value of operations there.

QEM said today the latest extraction test work indicated very high extraction vs vanadium retention rates could be achieved at certain temperatures on shale that had been ashed to extract the oil values.

“These terrific results give us a strong foundation to progress this project and assess the optimal processing route for the ore body via engineering design work we will undertake,” QEM managing director Gavin Loyden said.

“A domestic source of vanadium and oil shale will provide Australia with a robust source of a critical strategic mineral for the burgeoning energy storage market through the use of Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (VRFB), as well as greater liquid fuel security.

“The importance of Australia developing a more resilient economy that is less reliant on imported fuel or critical strategic minerals such as vanadium, has become more apparent during the COVID-19

QEM’s Julia Creek project has an established JORC resource of 2760 million tonnes an average V2O5 (vanadium pentoxide) content of 0.30 per cent and a 3C Contingent Oil Resource of 783 MMbbls with an average oil yield of 53 litres per tonne.

Final filtrate containing vanadium after a leach run testing shale ash production temperature of 900°C.

The company engaged HRL Technology Group in Melbourne to conduct a test work program which included producing shale ash at different temperatures from samples and then undertaking vanadium extraction testing using acid leaching.

It was able to achieve vanadium extraction efficiencies of around 90 per cent on shale ash samples produced at 900°C.

QEM said it planned to follow on from the highly encouraging test results by immediately seeking to complete the evaluation of oil quality from solvent extraction tests.

Further optimisation was possible and would be the focus of future programs, it said.

The promising vanadium extraction results follow on from the recent oil extraction test results which revealed that high oil shale recovery yields are also viable at Julia Creek.