Vametco is an integrated mining and processing plant located eight kilometres north-east of Brits in the North West Province of South Africa. The mine has a new order mining right for vanadium and other associated minerals over a portion of the remaining extent of Portion 1 of the farm Uitvalgrond 431 JQ and Portion 1 of the farm Krokodilkraal 426 JQ in Brits. Vametco operates an open-pit mine which supplies ore to a vanadium processing plant located on the same property.
Vametco’s open pit mine is approximately 3.5 kilometres long, extending in a west-east direction. The ore body is well-defined, continuous and dips in a north-east direction at approximately 19 to 20 degrees. The mine is based on a JORC-compliant resource of 182.7 Mt, including 45.3 Mt reserves, with in-magnetite vanadium grades averaging approximately 2.0 % V2O5, with a life of mine of more than 30 years.
(step 1-3 similar to Vanchem)
- Step 1: Crushing, milling and magnetic separation to produce a magnetite concentrate with average grades of approximately 2.0 % V2O5;
- Step 2: Salt-roasting of the concentrate. The concentrate is roasted with sodium salts in a kiln at approximately 1,150°C to form a water-soluble sodium vanadate material;
- Step 3: Leaching and purification, with dissolution of roasted vanadium concentrate in water, purification, and precipitation of vanadium through the addition of ammonium sulphate followed by drying and then processing in a reducing environment to produce a MVO product; and
- Step 4: Nitro Vanadium production: the MVO is briquetted and fed into a shaft induction furnace in a nitrogen atmosphere to produce Nitrovan, which is used as a micro-alloy in steel production.