Phosphoric Acid, Phosphates & Fertilizers Experts


Arafura Resources Limited is pleased to advise that the second phase of flowsheet piloting for its 100 per cent-owned Nolans Neodymium-Praseodymium (“NdPr”) Project in the Northern Territory, which focused on the extraction of a saleable phosphoric acid by-product from NdPr-rich concentrate, has met with approval from independent phosphoric acid expert Prayon Technologies (“Prayon”).
As part of its review, Prayon has verified the suitability of information gathered from the phosphate extraction pilot plant, which operated over a 10-day period during March 2017 at SGS Australia’s facilities in Perth, for inclusion in the definitive feasibility study (“DFS”) Arafura is preparing on
Arafura personnel managed this (Phase 2) pilot program with advice and oversight from Prayon consultants who attended in person. Prayon is satisfied that Arafura demonstrated the metallurgical process in a satisfactory manner and has obtained the required process and mechanical engineering design data for incorporation into the DFS.
Final results from the successful operation of the Company’s (Phase 1) beneficiation pilot plant were reported in February 2017. This operation roduced
approximately five tonnes of high-phosphate concentrate (“HPC”). Phase 2 of the pilot program consumed around 400 kilograms of HPC at 6.8% total rare earth oxide (“TREO”) and resulted in the production of NdPr-rich pre-leach residue (“PLR”) grading 11% TREO, a 34% TREO rare earth recovery precipitate, merchant grade phosphoric acid (“MGA”), and waste gypsum. Phosphate (“P2O5”) and TREO losses to gypsum are around 12% and 4% respectively. PLR generated in this Phase 2 pilot will be used in a program of small scale acid bake tests to validate acid bake equipment in advance of (Phase 4) bulk acid bake piloting.
Arafura Managing Director Gavin Lockyer said that feedback from Prayon has supported the Company’s decision to immediately proceed with Phase 3 of the pilot program. This phase, which involves the bulk preparation of NdPr-rich PLR from the balance of the HPC produced from the Phase 1 beneficiation pilot, will start at SGS Australia’s Perth facilities today.
Following Phase 3 piloting, an additional four phases of pilot testing are planned as part of the process of validating the performance of the process
flowsheet for Nolans. Results from all phases will feed into the project’s DFS which is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2018.