ASX-listed Australian Vanadium (AVL) has appeared on investor radar screens as one of a small band of vanadium entrants offering significant upside in a market that has been turbocharged by prospects for the metal in energy storage and other green-energy applications.
"In addition to the energy storage capabilities in vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs), developments using vanadium in lithium battery cathodes brings more potentially valuable uses," says managing director Vincent Algar.
He says the Australian company has attracted interest from stockholders who have also been impressed by the rise of leading specialist vanadium players Largo Resources (TSX) and Bushveld Minerals (AIM), both of which have producing mines in Brazil and South Africa, respectively.
Largo and Bushveld have been trailblazers in the sector, but AVL is not too far behind, says Algar, with the company currently working on a definitive feasibility study (DFS). First production from the Australian Vanadium Project, he estimates, will be in 2021/22 with environmental permitting and financing challenges ahead.
AVL has a "world-class deposit with grades, resource, reserves and outstanding metallurgical characteristics in a world-class jurisdiction, Western Australia," says Algar.
Moreover, AVL will be at the bottom end of the cost curve for production. Hard data from a pre-feasibility study (PFS) flags an openpit with processing and refining operation producing about 900,000 tonnes per annum of 1.4% V2O5 magnetite concentrate at an average yield of 60%, which Algar considers high. "Our tests show we are getting nearly double the recovery rate of what some other producers are getting and that's purely a function of the property's geology."
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