Globe Metals and Mining, an Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)—listed mining company, has completed the bulk sampling campaign at Kanyika Niobium Project (KNP) in Mzimba where 40 tonnes sample was collected, crushed and sent to China for further analysis.
In a statement posted on ASX website on Wednesday, Globe Metals which is being supported by its major shareholder, East China Mineral Exploration and Development Bureau (ECE), said the samples have now arrived in China and is expected for metallurgical pilot plant programme at the Guangzhou Research Institute for Non-Ferrous Metals (GZRINM) in February.
“The metallurgical pilot plant at GZRINM is being undertaken to de-risk and optimise flotation techniques for the concentrator flow sheet for the Kanyika project.
“The focus of the pilot plant is to validate bench-scale testing results obtained during the optimisation phase of the Kanyika definitive feasibility study (DFS), and also to validate engineering data for plant design,” said the statement.
The miner’s managing director Alistair Stephens said so far, the campaign has had several delays relating to sampling approvals and logistics, which are amplified when undertaking non-routine activities such as the bulk sampling where approvals from a variety of stakeholders are required.
“Having navigated these hurdles, we can now focus on the heart of the exercise which is to undertake metallurgical piloting activities to evaluate the robustness of the process and also confirm process economics,” he said.
Stephens said the results achieved last year by GZRINM are encouraging and the company is looking forward to being able to confirm improved process economics and firmup the engineering, while on a corporate level they continue Development Agreement negotiations with the Malawi Government.
However, the company said the metallurgical pilot plant programme will be interrupted with the commencement of the Chinese New Year on January 31 2014 and the company expects little work to be undertaken for two weeks after this date during the Chinese holidays and celebrations.
“Shareholders will be informed of results once reports are completed and received throughout the programme,” said the company.
The optimisation test-work undertaken at GZRINM in 2013, said the company, yielded improved metallurgical results for the KNP.