“The commercialisation of the Vulcan process will unlock value and is a major step in achieving our Vision 2020 target,” says Tharisa CEO, Phoevos Pouroulis.

“We have developed a proprietary process using existing technologies to improve the chrome recoveries with the process having been rigorously tested and proven through pilot plant test work and the operation of a production scale demonstration plant.

“Profitability will increase with mining and processing unit costs being charged against the increased production volumes.

“With the appointment of Wood as our EPCM partner and the project initiation in August 2019, Tharisa looks forward to delivering first chrome production from the Vulcan plant within our anticipated timeline of 15 months.”

Tharisa’s Vision 2020 projects are targeting an increase in Tharisa Minerals’ production to 200 kozpa of PGMs and 2.0 Mtpa of chrome concentrates in CY2020, on an annualised basis.

To achieve this vision, the R&D team has developed the Vulcan process to extract the fine chrome from current in line tailings from the combined feed of the Genesis and Voyager plants.

The primary aim of the Vulcan plant is to increase chrome recovery from the current 65% to 82% at the Tharisa Mine, capable of adding an additional 400 ktpa (ca. 28% of current production) of chrome concentrate output.

Salient features of the company’s Vision 2020:

  • Targeting annual production of 200 koz of PGMs and 2.0 Mt of chrome concentrate
  • Proprietary ground-breaking use of existing technologies in fine chrome recovery which will lead to ca. 47% reduction in chrome tailings
  • Overall improved chrome recovery from 65% to 82%, capable of adding an additional 400 ktpa to production with a reduction in overall unit costs
  • Capital cost of US$54.2 million including contingency and owner’s cost
  • Appointment of Wood as EPCM contractor with hot commissioning targeted for Q4 2020