Galileo Resources has unveiled the results of its 2013 test programme, which it believes have added significant value to both its investment in Glenover Phosphate and the Glenover Phosphate Rare Earth project in South Africa.

The company said it has advanced critical metallurgical test work to pre-feasibility study (PFS) status at the site.

The site showed an ore feed of 400,000t per year over the 25-year mine life, with an average 63% of phosphate recovery.

"The niobium by-product recovered through the Chinese process may play a major part in final process route selection."

Reports from the recently completed major process study in China indicated that a nitric acid process could produce more highly saleable products, while internal project finance studies found that Glenover could be viable from nitric fertiliser products alone, potentially making the cost of rare earth oxide production lower than expected.

The reports also found that niobium can be recovered from the site, which may be a high-value by-product.

The company noted that process optimisation work in Germany is moving towards improving project fundamentals by increasing recoveries.

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In addition, marketing and logistics work is advancing towards achieving a world-class phosphate rare earth project on the coast of South Africa.

Galileo Resources CEO and chairman Colin Bird said that the niobium by-product recovered through the Chinese process may play a major part in final process route selection.

"During 2014 we intend to consolidate on the advances made and to secure the necessary strategic partnerships to move the Glenover project towards production," Bird said.