SURFACE

Speewah host to more than just vanadium

A FLUORIDE deposit first discovered in 1905 in Western Australia’s east Kimberley may finally get its time to shine after Tivan announced the start of a pre-feasibility study at the Speewah fluorite project.

Fluorite mineralisation from the Speewah fluorite deposit

Fluorite mineralisation from the Speewah fluorite deposit

The PFS will assess the technical and economic feasibility of a mining and processing operation for the production of acid-grade fluorspar.

Located 100km south of Wyndham and 110km southwest of Kununurra, the fluorite project is part of Tivan's Speewah vanadium project, acquired from King River Resources in late-2023 for $20 million.

Speewah has mineral resources of 27.2 million tonnes at 9.5% calcium fluoride, with a high-grade component of 6.7Mt grading 24.6% calcium fluoride.

Fluorine was recently added to the federal government's Critical Minerals List, so Tivan may be eligible for government financial assistance.

The mineral is used to produce commercial-grade fluorspar products and fluorine for steel, aluminium and chemical manufacturing. It is also in demand for next-generation lithium-ion batteries, solar cells and semiconductor manufacturing.

According to Tivan, the global fluorspar market is tipped to move into a structural deficit from 2025 due to high demand. Acid-grade fluorspar fetches about $740 per tonne.

Tivan executive chairman Grant Wilson said fluorine's inclusion on the Critical Minerals List gave the company strong tailwinds to advance the fluorite project and build on the large body of work previously conducted.

He said fluorite was first discovered at Speewah in 1905.

"With the emergence of structural demand from next-gen EV batteries, its time may well have arrived," he said.

"In making the decision to progress to a PFS, the board recognised the strong synergies that exist with the Speewah vanadium project."

That project will be a conventional salt roast processing operation for production of vanadium oxides.

Mining, beneficiation and processing will take place onsite at Speewah while a separate vanadium electrolyte production facility is earmarked for Darwin's Middle Arm sustainable development precinct.

Wilson said the projects gave Tivan two major catalysts for the year ahead.

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