CEO Joe Kaderavek, said:
“The 2nd tranche of critical equipment has now been received. We are on track to build/commission our Pilot Plant and then commence our global sample partner program from Q1 2021. The project represents an exciting commitment to the Broken Hill community.”
This shipment comprises of the following items in preparation for installation during Q3/Q4 2020:
- Spirals. For concentrate production. Used during processing of ore to generate pyrite concentrate.
- Reactors and storage tanks. Range of capacities.
- Plate and frame pressure filters. To provide filtration capacity for secondary products and waste streams within the plant.
- Process pumps. A selection of liquor and slurry pumps.
- Spares. Belt filter, drive units for the pressure oxidation vessels and a replacement motor for the vacuum pump.
COB had previously announced (2 March 2020) that a first shipment of equipment had been received and delivered to site in Broken Hill. That shipment comprised the following key equipment:
- Pressure oxidation reactors and flash vessel. These are bespoke vessels, manufactured from high grade titanium and designed to withstand the process chemistry and conditions unique to the COB technology.
- Horizontal vacuum belt filter. This is the primary filtration equipment for use during multiple phases of operation of the Pilot and Demonstration Plants.
COB is building a Pilot Plant to test the leaching of calcined material (sourced from ~100 t of existing drill core) in two 5 t campaigns. The Pilot Plant will allow COB to produce varying specifications of cobalt products (including mixed hydroxides and sulphates) and represents a significant milestone for our business. Our commercial aim remains to make battery ready cobalt sulphate from this facility on a scale sufficient to provide test samples (~10 kgs) for global commercial partners.
Looking forward, these results will be used to design a larger Demonstration Plant and provide early confirmation of inputs in the BHCP Feasibility Study. COB intends to operate the 1:1000 scale Demonstration Plant in 2H 2021, focusing on calcining cobalt-pyrite concentrate for production of sulphur, and an integrated hydrometallurgical circuit for leaching calcine and recovery of cobalt and sulphur.
The ‘steady-state’ data collected from operations will be used in the BHCP Feasibility Study to confirm the process recoveries of cobalt and sulphur. As part of these activities, larger sample cobalt and sulphur products will be generated for assessment by potential commercial partners.