Sheffield Resources cock-a-hoop with Thunderbird ilmentite results

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Sheffield Resources (ASX: SFX) announced that metallurgical testwork conducted on ilmenite from the company’s 100 per cent-owned Thunderbird mineral sands project, located near Derby in Western Australia, has confirmed primary ilmenite can be substantially upgraded using a simple low temperature roast (LTR) process.

The technical aspects of the testwork focused on reducing the iron (II) peroxide (Fe2O3) levels and increasing the titanium dioxide (TiO2) content of the ilmenite to obtain a product that will attract a higher selling price to a broader market.

Sheffield said it achieved this by using a simple, low temperature (4500C) reduction roast, and subsequent magnetic separation stage, which upgraded TiO2 in the primary ilmenite by 22 per cent to 56.1 per cent TiO2 and increased the iron (ii) oxide (FeO) to Fe2O3 ratio.

The company indicated the LTR process to be efficient at reducing Fe2O3 within the ilmenite, which it said resulted in an increase in both TiO2 grade and acid solubility.

The results of the sulphuric acid solubility testwork demonstrated the TiO2 solubility for the 4500C LTR ilmenite product to be high at 96.2 per cent using an acid-to-ore ratio of 1.67.

This is a breakthrough result for the Thunderbird project,” Sheffield Resources managing director Bruce McQuitty said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“It confirms that the primary ilmenite can be substantially upgraded using a simple LTR process.

“The LTR process and magnetic separation acts as a homogenising process, reducing variability in the ilmenite product.

“These results confirm that the LTR ilmenite from Thunderbird will be one of the highest grade sulphate ilmenites globally and should be a preferred feedstock that is likely to displace poorer quality ilmenites.”

Website: www.sheffieldresources.com.au