Neometals revives interest in Barrambie vanadium project

Barrambie project location. Image: Neometals

Neometals plans to post an updated Barrambie definitive feasibility study (DFS) next year, a decade after it was first released.

The developer has applied for an extension for the native title agreement and ministerial approval that were secured in 2012 to develop an open-cut mine and processing plant.

The Barrambie vanadium-titanium-magnetite project restart has been motivated by a robust market outlook and record high vanadium prices of $US130 ($178) per kilogram.

Neometals managing director Chris Reed said, “Barrambie has played second fiddle in recent years to our lithium endeavours, however it is to our knowledge the most advanced, undeveloped greenfields vanadium project globally.

“Our extensive historical exploration and evaluation works enable us to fast-track an updated DFS.”

The 2009 DFS will be updated to explore development options including offshore processing of crushed ore in China, onsite production of a high-grade concentrate and refining for the manufacture of vanadium chemical products.

The study is expected to be completed in the June quarter of 2019. A total of $30 million has been spent in Barrambie’s exploration and evaluation program since 2003.

Barrambie was then temporarily suspended after the completion of the 2009 DFS as prices remained stagnant for over six years due to the global financial crisis.

Vanadium prices have improved since 2017 due to production shutdowns in China, limited production by new mines and increasing vanadium consumption in aerospace alloys and storage applications.

Neometals is now advancing discussions with potential offtake partners for the supply of ore, concentrates and chemical products.

Reed said, “With strong vanadium pricing and end-users demanding secure supply of quality feedstocks from low-risk jurisdictions, Neometals is moving quickly to capitalise on this significant market opportunity.”