Test Pit & Demonstration Plant

Test Pit & Demonstration Plant

In 2019, WIM excavated a test pit as part of its DFS. Over 11,000 tonnes of ore was removed and processed through a pilot scale demonstration WCP, at the mine site.

The test pit trials confirmed:

  • Avonbank ore body characteristics
  • High grade, high zircon and shallow ore body is well understood
  • Geotechnical trials successful

WIM partnered with world-leading mineral sands processing specialists, Mineral Technologies, to design and construct the demonstration plant. Following a safe, rapid construction and commission the plant ran smoothly for over six months of stable production.

WIM produced over 800 tonnes of premium quality, zircon-rich HMC and has now completed further downstream engineering studies, as input into the DFS.

The demonstration plant trials confirmed:

  • The Avonbank ore can be processed using conventional spirals, with high recoveries
  • Avonbank HMC is of premium quality and production over six months was very consistent
  • Transport studies successful
  • Tailings are well understood and are managed using conventional management measures

The completion of the demonstration plant has now set a robust foundation for WIM to complete a BFS and position the project to come on line in coming years.


Ore excavation stage using truck and shovel

Avonbank Project test pit site

Ore stockpile dozer push


WIM team members inspect the ore face

WIM CEO Eddy Wu (RHS) and Projects Director Michael Winternitz (LHS)

WIM Board and team members


Late 2019, fully operational

Production of maiden HMC

Etienne Raffaillac, Principal Process Engineer, and CEO Eddy Wu