The new plant will lead to a 47% reduction in chrome tailings, boost chrome recovery rates to 82% from 65% and add additional capacity of up to 400,000 tonnes per year at lower costs.
Tharisa has a target to produce production of 200,000 ounces of platinum group metals and 2mt of chrome concentrate annually by the end of 2020.
Capital costs of the new plant will be US$54.2mln with hot commissioning projected for the end of the year.
Phoevos Pouroulis, Tharisa’s chief executive, said: “We have developed a proprietary process using existing technologies to improve chrome recoveries.
“The process has been rigorously tested and proven through pilot plant test work and the operation of a production scale demonstration plant.”
“First chrome production from the Vulcan plant is expected within 15 months."