Australian Vanadium locks in funding as metal value strengthens

Image: Australian Vanadium

Australian Vanadium has secured $3 million through a share placement to fund activities at its flagship Gabanintha vanadium project in Western Australia.

The company reached an agreement with two institutional investors for the placement of 75 million shares at 4 cents each to raise the funds.

Australian Vanadium plans to use the funds to complete a pre-feasibility study at Gabanintha, and for working capital.

Managing director Vincent Algar welcomed the institutional investor interest in the company.

“The placement puts the company in a strong financial position moving forward and attracting institutional investors further confirms the strength of the company’s plans and demonstrates confidence in its management,” the company said in an ASX announcement.

Australian Vanadium is one of many companies with vanadium assets on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) enjoying buoyant market conditions for the metal, the key ingredient used for Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries.

Vanadium has been a top performing battery metal so far in 2018, continuing the significant rise it experienced last year, with this year’s price increase outdoing the likes of lithium.

Earlier this week, prices for 98 per cent V205 vanadium pentoxide flake were fetching $US15.60/lb in China and $US15.85/lb in Europe. At the start of 2017 vanadium was trading at around $US3.50/lb.

Other ASX-listed companies advancing vanadium projects include King River Copper, Tando Resources, Technology Metals Australia, TNG, Atlantic, Neometals and Venus Metals Corp.

Also today, King River retracted an ASX announcement with a concept study update for its Speewah vanadium project in the East Kimberley of Western Australia.

The April 10 announcement stated that King River “aims to be a producer of 12,000t per annum of high purity vanadium pentoxide, 75,000–90,000t per annum of titanium dioxide and 300,000–400,000t per annum of iron oxide (hematite) in three to four years.”

However, the ASX queried the statement as aspirational and not in full compliance with JORC Code requirements, forcing King River to retract the announcement.

Tando, meanwhile, is a relatively new entrant to the vanadium sector, having secured a deal to acquire a 74 per cent stake in the SPD vanadium project in the Bushveld Complex of South Africa last month.

The SPD project recently excited analysts during a site visit, with its high-grade nature and proximity to existing infrastructure making it a standout amongst vanadium prosects.

Tando is also targeting the emerging market for Redox Flow Batteries, which are recognised for their longer lifespan than most current batteries, for being able to hold charge for up to 12 months, and their scalability.

Vanadium may not yet receive the same level of exposure as lithium or cobalt, but as Algar commented this month, the metal possibly only needs an influence like Elon Musk to achieve this.