Australian Vanadium has moved closer to capitalising on the emerging vanadium market after releasing its pre-feasibility study (PFS) and maiden ore reserve for the Gabanintha project in Western Australia.
The maiden Gabanintha reserve of 18.24 million tonnes at 1.04 per cent V2O5 includes a proved reserve of 9.82 million tonnes at 1.07 per cent V2O5 and a probable reserve of 8.42 million tonnes at 1.01 per cent V2O5.
Australian Vanadium has estimated production of around 900,000 tonnes per year of 1.40 per cent V2O5 magnetite concentrate at an average yield of 60 per cent.
Gabanintha’s proposed vanadium pentoxide refinery will have an annual production rate of around 22.5 millipounds over a 17-year mine life.
The Gabanintha mine life and operations hold significant growth potential with an additional eight kilometre extension along strike.
Gabanintha will attract an ungeared post-tax net present value between $US125 million ($174 million) and $US1.41 billion ($1.96 billion), which is indicative of a robust project, the PFS shows. It will attract a capital cost of around $US354 million.
Australian Vanadium managing director Vincent Algar said the company had taken a major step towards bringing Gabanintha into production by completing the PFS.
“The PFS includes detail that allows us to understand and design a long-life, low-cost vanadium pentoxide and cobalt concentrate production facility,” Algar said.
“It’s essential that all technical aspects are well understood and the capital and operating costs minimised.”
Gabanintha’s geology and geometallurgy is emerging to offer a unique opportunity for new vanadium production global, Algar continued.
He said the company also held an extensive strike of inferred resource for further definition.
“We believe that the project will deliver a world-leading, life of mine mass recovery to concentrate of over 60 per cent,” Algar said.
“The completed PFS will allow us to confidently engage with strategic partners in 2019, at a time when vanadium supplies are very much in demand. Vanadium’s future is bright, with its traditional markets transitioning to higher quality steels and new energy metal markets developing.”
Vanadium pentoxide price is trading at $US22 per pound, with anticipated supply shortfall through to at least 2025.
Australian Vanadium will immediately proceed to definitive feasibility study (DFS) and further drilling for Gabanintha’s pilot study, commencing in January next year.