Pro-Or Inc. (TSXV:POI) completed the processing of multiple batches for a total of 600 kg of ceramic catalytic converters at its demonstration plant in St-Augustin during the summer. In June 2013, a prefeasibility study estimated operating costs at $13.50/kg of processed material, including refining charges.
As quoted in the press release:
…completed the processing of multiple batches for a total of 600 kg of ceramic catalytic converters at its demonstration plant in St-Augustin during the summer. The recovery of recycled metals allowed Pro-Or to ship 6 kg of platinum group elements (PGE) concentrate in very rich powder form during the month of August. This product is free of any glass or carbon contaminants and treated at the refiner to separate each of the platinum group elements in ingots of platinum, palladium and rhodium. These metals will be sold on the spot market in a timely manner.
In the June 2013 prefeasibility study in connection with the construction of a 200-tonne (four reactors) PGM recovery plant, operating costs (OPEX) were estimated by SENECA at $13.50/kg of processed material, including refining charges. Approximately 32% of these costs are specifically associated with staffing, which are fairly constant. For a plant going from 4 to 12 reactors (200 tons to 600 tons) with a constant level of staffing, operating costs would be reduced from $13.50 /kg to $10.56 /kg. According to the parameters of the study, a 12-reactor plant would have operating costs of $10.56 compared to $13.50 which is an improvement of 21.8% or $1.76 million of additional profit for a 600-tonn plant, including refining charges.
Pro-Or Inc. President and CEO, Sylvain Boulanger, said:
We are very proud of this achievement because operations were subject to a strict protocol that included quantitative measurements. Some of the processing took place as part of the prefeasibility study carried out by the independent engineering firm SENECA. The recycled materials were processed on one 8-hour shift per day over a long period of time to allow sampling while the material is at low temperature. These operations require additional activities of long handling that will not be required in the commercial production plant. This work is helping us to further improve the robustness and reliability of the equipment at the St-Augustin facility.