Critical Set To Add Alumina Resource To Vanadium Project

Critical Minerals looks set to add alumina to its already massive Queensland vanadium resource with the final 23 drill holes of its maiden campaign all hitting both critical metals. Highlights include a 3.9m hit at a solid 0.51 per cent vanadium and 3.5 per cent alumina from only 4m downhole, in addition to 2.6m going 0.37 per cent vanadium and 9.5 per cent alumina from 15.9m.
Narrower high-grade assays show a 0.33m hit at 0.70 per cent vanadium from 15.89m, a 0.4m section going 0.62 per cent vanadium from 6.9m and a 0.15m intercept grading 0.65 per cent vanadium, also from 6.9m. A standout 1m segment recorded an impressive 18.9 per cent alumina from 1.8m.
Critical’s current vanadium resource stands at a whopping 210m tonnes grading 0.39 per cent vanadium oxide.
The latest assays confirm the dual-commodity potential of the project, with the company saying it is hopeful of also eking out an alumina resource.
Metallurgical testing of the operation’s ore has commenced.
Critical Minerals is sitting on 295 square kilometres of ground in Queensland’s North West mineral province, about 30km from the town of Julia Creek at its Lindfield project.
It is now looking to table an updated vanadium resource and a maiden alumina resource by the end of the second quarter this year.
The ore at Lindfield is both soft and at surface. According to the company, a potential mining operation at the site would require no drilling, blasting or milling and the low strip ratio makes the operation ideal for open-cut mining. The geology of the site also gives the deposit an advantage for beneficiation and allows for a higher vanadium oxide concentrate upgrade by using flotation separation, according to the company.
Vanadium has been traditionally used in high-strength, low-alloy steel, however the current hype surrounding the metal is due to its central role in vanadium redox flow batteries that are suited to large, grid-scale energy storage solutions.
Curiously, redox flow vanadium batteries were actually invented in NSW more than two decades ago, before grid-scale battery-generated energy generation was a thing. That patent ran out some years ago just as the new wave of energy solutions started to become fashionable.
Queensland is quickly becoming a vanadium hub after the State Government committed $10 million towards a vanadium common user facility in Townsville for an industrial pilot and demonstration facility for mineral processing in 2021. In January, the Queensland Government allocated $75 million to the facility to support further extraction of high-purity alumina, cobalt and rare earths in addition to vanadium production.