Centrex (ASX:CXM) has received ‘encouraging’ laboratory testwork results at its wholly owned Oxley Potassium Feldspar Project in Western Australia.
The company engaged Nagrom Metallurgical to conduct testing to determine the potential to extract potassium from the Oxley potassic feldspar. Nagrom successfully demonstrated at lab scale the extraction of potassium from Oxley potassic feldspar through a hydrothermal hydroxide leach process path.
The testwork completed by Nagrom extracted more than 95% potassium, providing ‘sufficient’ encouragement to continue fine-tuning this process path, aimed to establish an alternative to the previously studied molten salt ion exchange method.
Centrex says its next steps for the rest of 2023 will be to continue investigating this process path, including tuning reaction kinetics and reagent quantities and developing a process flowsheet as the basis for engineering estimates.
Commenting on the testwork results, Centrex Chief Technical Officer Enzo Artone says: “The positive results from the hydrothermal leach process provide a realistic avenue to unlock value and a possible process pathway for the high-grade Oxley potassium feldspar resource, subject to meeting the further development criteria and large-scale testwork outlined by the company.”
“The positive results from the hydrothermal leach process provide a realistic avenue to unlock value and a possible process pathway for the high-grade Oxley potassium feldspar resource”
The company adds that the hydrothermal process has the potential to lead to the production of ‘higher value’ potassium carbonate, with additional potential to produce other by-products alongside the regeneration of the critical hydroxide reagent.
The Oxley Project is located in the midwest of Western Australia, about 125km southeast of the port of Geraldton. The project is considered to be a ‘very rare’ 32km-long, shallow-dipping and outcropping potassium feldspar-rich lava flow, up to 72m thick.
Centrex is an ASX-listed exploration and development company focused on its wholly owned Ardmore Phosphate and Oxley Potassium Feldspar projects. The products developed from both projects are considered to be necessary ingredients for global goods production and human nutrition.
Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au
Images: Centrex Ltd