Australian Vanadium Reports 14.8% Increase In Vanadium Resource At Namesake Project

Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) has unveiled an upgraded mineral resource for its namesake vanadium project near Meekatharra in Western Australia.
The vanadium explorer and developer reported a 14.8% boost in resources, with the project’s mineral resource now at 239 million tonnes at 0.73% vanadium pentoxide.
AVL also reported that combined measured and indicated high-grade resources have increased to 38.3 million tonnes at 1.11% vanadium pentoxide.
Expected to support economics
This resource upgrade is expected to support the Australian Vanadium Project’s long mine life and bankable feasibility study economics.
AVL’s namesake project has been awarded Major Project Status by the Australian Federal Government and Lead Agency Status by the Western Australian Government in recognition of its strategic importance as a critical mineral and battery mineral project.
The ASX-lister is also developing a A$7.4 million manufacturing plant in WA, where it hopes to turn vanadium pentoxide into vanadium electrolyte for vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) projects across Australia and the Asia Pacific.
Vanadium electrolyte is a long-term energy storage component in these types of batteries — which provide between three and 12 hours of energy storage — and comprises between 30% and 60% of a battery’s overall cost.
Developing project understanding
Commenting on the resource boost, Australian Vanadium managing director Vincent Algar said: “AVL is continuously seeking to improve its understanding of the mineral resource as it moves the project towards production.
“Vanadium titanium magnetite deposits display a clear correlation between iron content and density.
“New information captured and analysed by AVL has been used to upgrade and increase the vanadium resources.
“Density measurement and analysis is a critical and key component of mineral resource estimation used to de-risk mining and processing.
“As such, further understanding of density, geological and metallurgical parameters will be gained as the project develops.”
Mineral resource update
A further 30.8 million tonnes of ore have been added to the vanadium asset’s resource thanks to the 14.8% upgrade.
What’s more, the updated mineral resource includes inferred, indicated and measured resource, comprising:
11.3 million tonnes at 1.14% vanadium pentoxide in measured resource;
82.4 million tonnes at 0.70% in indicated resource; and
145.3 million tonnes at 0.71% in inferred resources.
There’s also a high-grade vanadium zone, which has increased by 8.6% from the March 2020 estimates to 95.6 million tonnes at 1.07% vanadium pentoxide.
This resource incorporates:
11.3 million tonnes at 1.14% in measured resources;
27.5 million tonnes at 1.10% in indicated resources; and
56.8 million tonnes at 1.04% in inferred resources.
AVL’s newly bolstered resource comes soon after the company collected more data and conducted further detailed reviews across new and existing geological information.
Looking ahead, the vanadium deposit remains open at depth, meaning there’s potential to convert further inferred resources located along AVL’s 11.5 kilometres of strike length to the indicated or measured categories.
What’s next?
Ultimately, it’s hoped the renewed mineral resource will underpin AVL’s transition from explorer to vanadium producer.
The company has a bankable feasibility study in the works that considers a mine and concentrator hub at Gabanintha, as well as a strategically located vanadium processing plant at Tenindewa, near Geraldton.
So far, the ASX-lister has completed estimates surrounding the plan’s detailed mining, crushing, milling, transport and infrastructure.
Now, processing plant capital and operating estimates are well underway, with requests for quotes out to key equipment suppliers, while mine site water supply and drawdown modelling has been completed.
A greenhouse gas management plan has also been submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) — a key requirement from AVL’s EPA referral.