Guest Contributor | Feb 27, 2024 | 0
Andrada Mining commissions bulk sampling plant
By Freeman Ya Ngulu.
According to the Chamber of Mines, Andrada Mining has completed the commissioning of its lithium bulk sampling plant, a key component to test samples from all of its mining license areas to determine the optimal process for lithium extraction.
The plant can also double as a producer for glass ceramics, for specialised industries. To date, Andrada has sent high purity petalite concentrate produced off-site to several potential customers.
The company believes that the concentrate is also potentially suitable as feedstock for lithium refineries producing lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide for the battery manufacturing industry.
The results obtained at the plant will enable Andara Mining to determine an optimal flow sheet.
The company announced that it will soon also be producing tantalum which will add the second technology metal to its product portfolio. Tantalum concentrate is used to produce a range of tantalum chemicals or refined into metal for use in niche metal products or alloys. Tantalum is essential for high-performance applications such as capacitors, superalloys, and electronics for aerospace, military, and consumer use.
So far, Andrada’s exploration team has made significant strides through the drilling of the Spodumene Hill and Lithium Ridge mining licenses. Andrada has found high-grade mineralization within all its license areas with indications that there is more to be found at depth.
For instance, the drill results of Spodumene Hill identified high-grade lithium intersections within the pegmatite that could be separated through ore sorting to provide a potentially high-grade pre-concentrate for the lithium processing plant.
These results have also highlit the tantalum potential of this area, and the relevance of the recently constructed tantalum recovery circuit. The proximity of the Spodumene Hill Project to the existing operations provides an immediate opportunity for additional revenues from the project area by blending tantalum grades.
The Lithium Ridge sampling and reverse circulation (RC) drilling results confirmed that the 6km of mineralization at surface continued at depth. The primary lithium minerals identified through channel sampling were spodumene and petalite with an average lithium oxide grade of 1.2%.
Lithium Ridge RC drilling reported notable lithium intersections with up to 2.13% Li₂O. The drilling results indicated intersections at higher lithium grades than those recorded at Uis and commensurate with similar hard-rock resources globally.
Andara mining estimates that already it has contributed N$690 million to the Namibian economy through procurement, royalties, and taxes since inception. In the past financial year, the company’s procurement spend was N$203 million with 225 Namibian suppliers of which 107 were from the Erongo region in which Uis is located. Adrada said it paid N$45 million in royalties and taxes during the previous year.
“Andrada aims to be a tier one technology metals mining company, sustainably creating value for all stakeholders.” Chief Executive Anthony Viljoen. (Photograph courtesy of Andara Mining)