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QEM outstanding oil yields achieved in extraction test work

QEM Limited (ASX: QEM) (“QEM” or “Company”) is pleased to announce highly successful results from recent independent test work at its 100%-owned Julia Creek vanadium and oil shale project in North Queensland. The Project currently hosts a JORC resource of 2,760Mt with an average V2O5 content of 0.30% and a 3C Contingent Oil Resource of 783 MMbbls with an average oil yield of 53 litres per tonne (refer to ASX announcement dated 14 October 2019*).

  • Oil extraction test results from the Julia Creek resource confirm oil yields up to 181 kg per tonne, which is 218% on those reported under Modified Fischer Assay (MFA)
  • Oil yields consistently over 175% of Modified Fischer Assay oil yield for a range of varying test conditions
  • The increase in oil yields is made possible with the addition of a solvent, which would be derived directly from the oil stream produced from the Julia Creek resource and therefore be exceptionally cost effective
  • Oil analysis work to be completed to characterise oil produced
  • Test work currently being completed for vanadium extraction rates within the shale portions of the Julia Creek resource

The test work was designed to investigate the potential to increase oil yields from the oil shale portions of the Julia Creek deposit through the addition of a solvent during extraction processing. The test work indicates that substantially higher oil yields are possible at Julia Creek, compared to extraction processing without solvent, such as direct retorting.

These impressive results provide greater clarity and flexibility for QEM to implement a balanced vanadium versus oil shale recovery strategy, which is a crucial factor in minimising capital cost expenditure, minimising operating costs and maximising profit margins.

QEM Managing Director Gavin Loyden said he was delighted with the oil results, which marked a key milestone towards commercialisation of the Julia Creek project.

“The tests produced oil yields substantially higher than our previous oil extraction test work (Ref: QEM Announcement 17th July 2019), laying the groundwork for a significant  improvement to the processing and extraction methods for the oil shale and vanadium ore body,” Mr Loyden said.

“We will now build on this strong momentum by conducting further optimisation tests and engineering design. Our task now is to determine the optimum processing and extraction method, which balances and maximises the returns we can make from both vanadium and the hydrocarbons available at Julia Creek”.

“With fuel security a very important and growing national security issue, we expect that domestic sources of quality hydrocarbon supply are likely to be more highly valued in the future, as Australia seeks to develop a more resilient economy, post COVID-19 and reduce its reliance on imported fuel supplies.”

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