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London-listed high-purity iron (HPI), vanadium and titanium miner Ironveld’s subsidiary, Ironveld Smelting, has completed the refurbishment of one furnace at its Rustenburg smelter complex ahead of schedule, with two more furnaces to follow.

The first furnace is already smelting magnetite ore into marketable products of titanium slag and HPI, marking a transformational step in the company’s development.

Ironveld CEO Martin Eales says the smelter reached marketable metal production after just four months since the refurbishment work started. The company has given itself six to nine months to complete the refurbishment and commissioning of the three furnaces.

He anticipates first revenues from initial production by the second quarter, and for the second and third furnaces to be in production by April.

Once the three furnaces are operational, the complex will have a processing capacity of 40 000 t/y of magnetite ore, which, in turn, will lead to the production of about 20 000 t/y of HPI, 190 t/y of vanadium in slag and 3 800 t/y of titanium in slag.

Ironveld’s mine is based in the Bushveld Complex, in South Africa’s Limpopo province. The project holds 1.6-billion pounds of vanadium, 32-million tons of HPI in situ and nine-million tonnes of titanium.