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Greenvale Mining (GRV) has reported that recent testwork found its preferred liquefaction process suitable for bitumen production from its Alpha project in Queensland.
The test program was conducted by PROCOM Consultants and aimed to determine whether samples of torbanite and cannel coal from Mine Gully could be successfully liquefied and if more severe conditions could provide greater conversion of solids to liquids.
In the first round of testing, results demonstrated that liquefaction could be used effectively to generate oils within the heavy oil fractions necessary to produce or as an added component to bitumen blends.
The test also found that liquefaction generated reduced gas by-products from the torbanite shale compared to the more traditional pyrolytic retorting process. According to the company, this enhances the environmental profile of the Alpha torbanite project.
Greenvale Executive Director Mark Turner said the results were a “major breakthrough” in the development of the project.
“The findings are a major breakthrough because they show that the preferred liquefaction processing route will make Alpha suitable for bitumen production while producing less carbon dioxide than the traditional pyrolytic method,” Mr Turner said.
“Further tests will be undertaken at higher temperatures, also trialling a more targeted catalyst, to find the optimum conversion settings and improve the percentage of heavy oil fractions.”
Greenvale will use the results from the test program, with further testing underway, for a pilot plant. The pilot plant results will then be incorporated into a pre-feasibility study for the Alpha project.
Company shares last traded at 13 cents on August 23.

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