Vanadium Miners News For The Month Of December 2018

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Includes: AMVMF, APAFF, ATVVF, AUEEF, BSHVF, DMNKF, GLCNF, LGORF, MTTGF, PCY, PNTZF, PRPCF, RDRUY, RRSSF, SRHYY, SYAAF, UUUU, VDMRF, WSTRF
by: Matt Bohlsen
Summary

Vanadium spot prices fell heavily in December after a ~4 fold rise in 2018.

Vanadium market news - high vanadium prices may hurt the VRFB sector.

Vanadium company news - Australian Vanadium releases a strong PFS.

Welcome to Vanadium miners news. December saw vanadium China spot prices fall back to earth after their ~4 fold rise in 2018. Given the exponential rise in October this was not surprising.

For some background you can read my earlier articles:

Vanadium uses

Vanadium is traditionally used to harden steel. However Vanadium Flow Batteries (VRFBs) are becoming increasingly popular, especially for commercial energy storage, most notably in China.

Vanadium oxide spot price history

China Vanadium Pentoxide [V2O5] Flake 98% Price - USD 20.90/lb

Source: Vanadiumprice.com

Vanadium demand versus supply

Source: Australian Vanadium presentation

Vanadium demand forecast to outstrip supply 2018-2025

Source: Technology Metals Australia investor presentation & TTP Squared

Vanadium market news

In 2017 Robert Friedland stated:

We think there’s a revolution coming in vanadium redox flow batteries,” he says. "You’ll have to get into the mining business and produce ultra-pure vanadium electrolyte for those batteries on a massive scale. We’re very deeply interested in how you store electrical energy in the grid. The beauty of the vanadium redox battery is that you can charge and discharge it at the same time, something that can’t be done with a lithium battery. With a vanadium redox flow battery, you can put solar power and wind power into the battery, and you can put excess grid power into the battery at night, and at the same time you can have a stable output into the grid.

A recent interview from The Assay from energy metals expert Chris Berry gives his views on vanadium:

Of all of the battery metals, vanadium worries me the most. The current narrative of China requiring re-enforced rebar steel in construction, coupled with the advent of vanadium redox battery (VRB) deployment, is one that has been in play since 2012 when I first started studying the market. Will this time be different? The speculative end of the market sure seems to think so, having pushed vanadium pentoxide pricing sky high off its lows of $4/lb to over $30/lb at the time of this interview. Strangely, the reaction of the juniors vis-à-vis share price has been mixed with some winners and some that have been left behind. This is odd given the relatively reliable trend of junior share prices following the trajectory of underlying commodity price. You’re also starting to see uranium juniors include the word "vanadium" in their name and state their intentions to produce vanadium alongside uranium. Historically, this is the sign that a rally is overdone and due for a correction. Given that vanadium can account for 40% of the cost of a VRB, the current vanadium pricing environment renders a VRB arguably uncompetitive with lithium ion and other battery technologies. One area to watch here is new business models around VRBs. As the vanadium electrolyte doesn’t degrade, leasing it is an option which can help battery economics overall. I have no conviction on where I think vanadium prices will go, but given the narrative and basic battery economics, it would appear that steel demand is going to remain the real driver of vanadium demand for some time. My sense is that this ship has sailed.

On December 19 Investing news reported:

Vanadium Outlook 2019: After the “Year of Vanadium,” What’s Next?.......While producers remain optimistic that the price growth will stay the course, Roskill gave a more subdued outlook. In fact, according to Bedder, price growth could negatively impact the VRFB sector. “Roskill’s baseline forecasts suggest that demand from this sector may plateau for some years until vanadium supply increases and prices retreat,” he said. While there are a number of vanadium projects at various levels of development around the world, meeting increased demand could prove harder than many anticipate. “The key question for the market is how will supply increase to meet demand,” added Bedder. “There is only so much more material that can come from co-production in China, especially during a period of environmental inspections and steel industry consolidations.” “We expect prices to remain high for some time — so it’s the perfect time to finance and develop a project,” he said.

Vanadium miner news

Vanadium producers

Glencore [LSX:GLEN] [HK:805] (OTC:OTCPK:GLCNF)

Glencore is a large vanadium producer, but vanadium production represents only a small portion of their revenue.

No vanadium related news.

AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV [NA:AMG] [GR:ADG] (OTCPK:AMVMF)

AMG Vanadium is a leading provider of products and services for the metals, manufacturing, refinery and petrochemical industries. AMG Vanadium produces ferrovanadium and related ferroalloys from spent refinery catalysts using a proprietary pyrometallurgical process.

On November 28 AMG announced:

AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. announces strategic segmental realignment. AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. is pleased to announce that effective 1 January 2019, the Company will change its organizational structure. This change will result in two new strategic operating divisions, AMG Technologies and AMG Critical Materials.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Bushveld Minerals Limited [LN- AIM:BMN] (OTC:BSHVF)

Bushveld is a diversified AIM-listed resources company with a portfolio of vanadium, tin and coal assets in Southern Africa and Madagascar. Bushveld Minerals 100% owns Bushveld Vametco Limited which has a controlling interest of 75% in an existing low-cost production platform, Vametco Alloys, with ~3.5% of global market share. Quality brownfield processing infrastructure in close proximity to Bushveld deposits.

On December 3 UK Investor Magazine reported: "Bushveld Minerals poised to enter the Vanadium Battery market. Bushveld Minerals is poised to enter the Vanadium Battery market as the miner prepares to diversify the business away from an extraction and processing play."

On December 3 Web Financial Group reported: "Bushveld Minerals aims to finish prep for VRFB by new year. Vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals now expects preparatory work on the battery commissioning portion of its maiden vanadium redox flow battery project to be wrapped up by the end of next month."

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Energy Fuels Inc. [TSX:EFR] (UUUU)

Energy Fuels states they are "the No. 1 uranium producer in the U.S. with a market-leading portfolio." Regarding vanadium the company state they have "32M lbs M&I vanadium resources at La Sal and Whirlwind Mines (1% avg. grade)." In 2013 the company produced 1.5M lbs of V2O5, and due to the price recovery they are resuming vanadium production in 2018.

On December 17 Energy Fuels reported:

Energy Fuels announces initial results of test-mining program targeting vanadium at La Sal Complex; Update on recent positive federal actions. After three weeks of test mining and evaluation, the Company is discovering areas of high-grade vanadium mineralization that were not previously mined due to the relatively lower uranium grades in the material. Historically, when uranium was targeted for production at the La Sal Complex, the recovered vanadium-to-uranium ratio was approximately 5-to-1. By targeting vanadium, the samples in the above table show a ratio of over 16-to-1 vanadium-to-uranium, including an average vanadium grade of 1.675% and an average uranium grade of 0.102% U3O8.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Largo Resources [TSX:LGO] [GR:LR81] (OTC:OTCQB:LGORF)

Largo Resources is a pure-play vanadium pentoxide producer from their Maracás Menchen mine in Brazil. The company state: "The Maracás Menchen mine possesses the world's highest grade vanadium deposit - P&P reserve grade of 1.17% V2O5 is over double the industry average. On track to be one of the lowest cost producers of vanadium, and a 6 year take or pay off-take agreement with Glencore for 100% of production.

On December 12 Largo Resources announced:

Largo Resources announces repurchase of US$16.2 million of its 9.25% senior secured notes due 2021. Largo Resources Ltd. announces today that it has repurchased and retired US$16.2 million in aggregate principal amount plus premium and accrued and unpaid interest in consideration for the payment of US$17 million in cash.

On December 16 Largo Resources announced:

Largo Resources further reduces its debt with repurchase of US$26 Million of its 9.25% senior secured notes due 2021.....Following this repurchase for cancellation the remaining aggregate principal amount outstanding on the Company's 9.25% Senior Secured Notes due 2021 (the "Notes") is US$92.8 million, representing a significant decrease of approximately 22%.

On December 19 Largo Resources announced: "Largo Resources completes drill program at Novo Amparo Norte in Maracás and extends vanadium zone by 130% to 1.84 km in strike length."

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Vanadium developers

Neometals [ASX:NMT] (OTCPK:RDRUY) (OTCPK:RRSSF)

Neometals is primarily a lithium producer however they 100% own the Barrambie Titanium Vanadium Iron Project in Western Australia. Barrambie's Eastern Band is one of the highest grade hard rock titanium deposits globally.

On December 21 Neometals announced: "Neometals agrees the sale of Mt Marion equity for $A104 million and retains offtake rights....Balance sheet strengthened to support project development financing and offtake processes."

Makes one wonder if they will now fully develop their Barrambie titanium-vanadium project in Western Australia.

You can view the latest investor presentation here, or "An Update On Neometals", or "Neometals Managing Director Chris Reed talks with Matt Bohlsen of Trend Investing."

Australian Vanadium [ASX:AVL] [GR:JT71] (OTC:ATVVF)

Australian Vanadium is an emerging vanadium producer focused on the Gabanintha deposit in Western Australia.

On November 28 Australian Vanadium announced: "Resource update at Gabanintha Vanadium deposit increases indicated mineral resource." Highlights include:

  • "Total Mineral Resource updated to 183.6Mt at 0.76% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) from massive and disseminated zones consisting of:➢Measured Mineral Resource of 10.2Mt at 1.11% V2O5, ➢Indicated Mineral Resource of 40.7Mt at 0.66% V2O5, and ➢Inferred Mineral Resource of 132.7Mt at 0.77% V2O5.
  • The revised Gabanintha Mineral Resource includes a distinct massive magnetite high-grade zone of 7Mt at 1.00% V2O5 consisting of: Measured Mineral Resource of 10.2Mt at 1.11% V2O5, Indicated Mineral Resource of 12.1Mt at 1.05% V2O5, and Inferred Mineral Resource of 74.5Mt at 0.97% V2O.
  • The massive magnetite high-grade zone in the Measured and Indicated Resource category now extends over 2.7km. AVL total strike length extends over 11km.
  • Further conversion of Inferred Resources to lower-risk categories to continue in 2019.
  • Updated estimation of cobalt, nickel and copper following drilling of diamond hole 18GEDH003, successfully intersected a deep high-grade V2O5 and base metals intercept.
  • Preliminary benchscale roast leach tests successfully completed, downstream testing underway aimed at generation of product quality V2O5 powder."

On December 19 Australian Vanadium announced: "Gabanintha pre-feasibility study and maiden ore reserve." Highlights include:

  • "Maiden Ore Reserve of 18.24Mt at 1.04% V2O5 comprised of a Proved Reserve of 9.82Mt at 1.07% V2O5 and a Probable Reserve of 8.42Mt at 1.01% V2O5.
  • Open pit mining and beneficiation operation producing approximately 900,000 tonnes per annum of 40% V2O5 magnetite concentrate at an average yield of 60%.
  • Planned vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) refinery at Gabanintha site with a production rate of approximately 22.5Mlb V2O5 per annum over an initial mine life of 17 years.
  • Significant potential to extend operations and mine life along strike for an additional 8km within Mining Lease Application M 51/878
  • Average C1** operating expenses estimated at US$4.15/lb V2O5 equivalent (±25%), competitive with the world’s lowest quartile producers
  • Capital costs of approximately US$354 million (±25%). This includes owner’s costs, contingencies and a partial gas pipeline investment.
  • Ungeared post-tax NPV8% ranges between US$125 million and US$1.41 billion, depending on the pricing assumption, indicating a robust project."

"At market prices of US$20/lb V2O5, NPV is US$2.01bn. Current market prices at time of writing are US$22/lb V2O5. The Project fully allocated costs is US$6.05/lb for the life of the project. Project sensitivities are shown in Figure 1 below."

You can view the latest investor presentation here, or read "Australian Vanadium Managing Director Vincent Algar Talks With Matt Bohlsen Of Trend Investing."

Technology Metals Australia [ASX:TMT]

The company's primary exploration focus is on the 100% owned Gabanintha Vanadium Project located 40km south east of Meekatharra in the mid-west region of Western Australia.

On December 12 Technology Metals Australia announced: "Outstanding Gabanintha metallurgical results." Highlights include:

  • "Product refinement testwork delivers extremely high V2O5 purity in excess of 99.7%.
  • Confirmation of suitability of premium product for specialty vanadium markets.
  • Preliminary base metal testwork from non-magnetic tailings stream delivers concentrate with combined base metal content of 10% to 15% with no additional grinding.
  • Base metal cleaner concentrates contain up to 2.31% cobalt, 4.47% nickel and 9.50% copper.
  • Significant scope for optimisation of base metal recovery into a concentrate product.
  • Definitive feasibility study progressing well and remains on track for delivery in June quarter 2019."

On December 20 Technology Metals Australia announced: "Further Gabanintha drill results confirm resource depth extension; shallow oxidation in North pit." Highlights include:

  • "Drilling results continue to confirm continuity of high grade vanadium mineralisation along strike and down dip.
  • Successful in both infilling and extending defined Gabanintha mineralisation."

Catalysts include a DFS by June 2019, and a possible 13ktpa producer by 2021. You can view the latest investor presentation here, or read "Technology Metals Australia Execetive Director Ian Prentice Talks With Matt Bohlsen Of Trend Investing."

TNG Ltd [ASX:TNG] [GR:HJI] (TNGZF)

TNG is an Australian resources company focused on the evaluation and development of its Mount Peake Vanadium-Titanium-Iron project. The Mount Peake Project is located 235km north-northwest of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. TNG Ltd is well advanced with a massive $4.7b NPV8%, but relies on titanium and iron with a lower grade vanadium by-product.

On December 13 TNG Ltd. announced: "TNG mandates KfW IPEX-bank as lead debt arranger for US$600m/A$850m Mount Peake finance package. Major step forward for TNG as it gears up to launch the development of one of the world’s most significant new strategic metals projects."

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Aura Energy [ASX:AEE] [GR:VU1] (OTC:AUEEF)

Aura Energy is an Australian-based minerals company that 100% owns polymetallic and uranium projects with large resources in Sweden (Häggån Project) and Mauritania (Tiris project). Aura’s focus is on the Häggån Project, located in Sweden’s Alum Shale Province, one of the largest depositories of vanadium in the world.

On December 18 Aura Energy announced:

Tiris Uranium Project Exploitation Licence granted key milestone achieved for project momentum for development building. Aura Energy Limited is pleased to announce the successful achievement of a key project development milestone with the grant of the Tiris Uranium Project Exploitation Licence.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Prophecy Development Corp. [TSX:PCY] (OTCQX:PRPCF) (NYSEARCA:PCY)

Prophecy Development Corp. is a Canadian public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Prophecy's objective is to advance the Gibellini Black Shale primary vanadium project in the Battle Mountain region in northeastern Nevada to production. Gibellini aims to be the first active primary vanadium mine in North America.

On December 18 Prophecy Development Corp. announced: "Prophecy has initiated detailed engineering with M3 and also receives $1.338 million from warrant exercises."

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Tando Resources [ASX:TNO]

Tando Resources is a junior exploration company established with the purpose of exploring and developing gold zinc, lead, copper and other mineral opportunities. Tando signed a HoA to acquire 74% of a globally significant vanadium project, the SPD Project, in Gauteng Province, South Africa.

On November 28 Tando Resources announced: "Strong final assays pave way for JORC Resource at SPD Vanadium Project."

On December 18 Tando Resources announced: "Massive maiden high grade inferred JORC Resource at SPD Vanadium of 588Mt at 0.78% V2O5. Including 80 Mt at 1.07% V2O5 surface component-the focus of a near term low capex production opportunity. Phase 2 infill drilling complete, enabling updated Mineral Resource to be published in Q1 2019 following receipt of assays. Scoping Study to be accelerated during Q1 2019 with vanadium prices continuing at US$30/lb."

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

King River Resources [ASX:KRR] (formerly King River Copper)

King River holds 785 square kilometers of mineral leases covering a unique geological feature in the Eastern Kimberley of Western Australia, called the Speewah Dome. The company state on their website: "The focus of King River Copper Limited is the exploration for Gold, Silver and Copper." However their deposits also contain vanadium.

On December 19 King River Resources announced:

Australian securities exchange announcement. King River Resources Limited is pleased to advise that ongoing metallurgical testwork from the company’s 100% owned Speewah Vanadium Project (“SVP”) in the East Kimberley of Western Australia continues to support an alternative development plan. The Board has re-prioritized most studies around the focus for a much more flexible, modular engineered strategy that better takes into consideration the advantage of owning such a large vanadium resource that is consistently disseminated, flat lying and outcrops at surface.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

VanadiumCorp Resource Inc. [TSXV:VRB][GR:NWN] (OTCPK:APAFF)

VanadiumCorp Resources Inc. 100% owns the Lac Dore Vanadium-Iron-Titanium project in Quebec Canada. The company also has another smaller project known as the Iron-T Vanadium Project also in Quebec, and royalties on the Raglan Nickel-PGM mine. The company is looking to take a vertically integrated approach and are also developing leading process technologies ‘VanadiumCorp-Electrochem Processing Technology’ and "Electrochem globally patented Electrowinning" technology.

On December 7 VanadiumCorp Resources Inc. announced:

VanadiumCorp announces revocation of cease trade order. VanadiumCorp Resource Inc. (TSX-V: VRB) (the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the British Columbia Securities Commission, as principal regulator, has revoked a cease trade order previously issued on June 11, 2018 (the “CTO”). The CTO was issued for failure to file a technical report completed in accordance with National Instrument 43-101. A technical report has now been filed and is available for review under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com.

On December 10 VanadiumCorp Resources Inc. announced: "Ultra Power Systems PTY Ltd. signs exclusive patent option agreement to purchase a license for the VanadiumCorp-Electrochem processing technology for Australia. Ultra plans to utilize the Australian license of VanadiumCorp-Electrochem Processing Technology (“VEPT”) to expedite construction of the world’s first dedicated vanadium processing facility.

On December 11 VanadiumCorp resumed trading rising 38% in the session.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

First Vanadium Corp.[TSXV:FVAN] (FVANF) (formerly Cornerstone Metals Inc.)

Cornerstone’s Carlin Vanadium project hosts one of North America’s largest richest primary vanadium deposits, located in Nevada. Its West Jerome project targets a large scale high grade copper and zinc deposit in Arizona. Carlin has a historic Inferred Resource 28Mst at 0.525% V2O5 (2010 SRK).

On December 20 First Vanadium Corp. announced:

First Vanadium Corp. Provides Corporate update on the Carlin Vanadium Project in Nevada....As previously reported, the Company has completed a drill program consisting of 69 reverse circulation drill holes focused on both deposit expansion and in-fill targets.....Upon receipt of remaining assay data, the Company will initiate a complete data compilation for an updated NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate.

Investors can read the latest company presentation here.

Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. (OTCQX:WSTRF)

Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. owns the Sunday Mine Complex which is an advanced stage mine property consisting of five interconnected underground mines in Colorado, USA.

On November 28 Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. announced:

Western Uranium & Vanadium provides Sunday mine complex re-opening update. Western is commencing this program with the goals of further defining its large vanadium resource and monetizing that resource. Western is in discussions with a number of large offshore companies that have the existing facilities to recover the vanadium contained in the SMC ore. The worldwide shortage of vanadium is impacting many companies around the world and thus making offtake agreements available for ore production. Initially ore will be shipped to existing offshore processing facilities with a longer term plan to build facilities in the United States. Once the SMC is opened, ore samples will be sent to the various interested parties for testing in their facilities. After testing, Western will negotiate offtake agreements to base load commercial production from the SMC.

Investors can read the latest company presentation here.

Graphite miners with potential vanadium projects

  • Syrah Resources [ASX:SYR] (OTC:OTCPK:SYAAF) (OTC:SRHYY)
  • Triton Minerals [ASX:TON] [GR:1TG]
  • Battery Minerals [ASX:BAT]
  • DNI Metals [TSXV:DNI] [GR:DG7N](OTCPK:DMNKF)

Other vanadium juniors

  • NextSource Materials [TSX:NEXT]
  • Cellcube Energy Storage [TSXV:CUBE] (STNUF) (formerly Stina Resources)
  • Golden Deeps [ASX:GED]
  • Sabre Resources [ASX:SBR]
  • Trigon Metals Inc. [TSXV:TM] (OTC:PNTZF)
  • Venus Metals [ASX:VMC]
  • Intermin Resources [ASX:IRC]
  • Vanadium One Energy Corp. [TSXV:VONE] [GR:9VR1] (OTC:VDMRF)
  • New Energy Minerals [ASX: NXE] (formerly Mustang Resources)
  • Protean Energy [ASX:POW] [GR:SHE1]
  • Maxtech Ventures [CSE:MVT]
  • Pursuit Minerals [ASX:PUR]
  • BlackRock Metals (Private)

Conclusion

Vanadium spot prices fell back heavily in December. Vanadium producers such as Largo Resources have been busy paying down debt, while the juniors continue to make excellent progress.

Highlights for the month include:

  • China vanadium spot prices fell in December from US$32.10/lb to US$20.90/lb, after rising four-fold in 2018. The fall was to be expected.
  • Chris Berry stated (at V2O5 US$30/lb) - "Of all of the battery metals, vanadium worries me the most" and "given that vanadium can account for 40% of the cost of a VRB, the current vanadium pricing environment renders a VRB arguably uncompetitive with lithium ion and other battery technologies."
  • Investing News - Re: Demand for vanadium for VRFBs - "Roskill’s baseline forecasts suggest that demand from this sector may plateau for some years until vanadium supply increases and prices retreat."
  • Bushveld Minerals poised to enter the Vanadium Battery market (in early 2019).
  • Largo Resources reduces debt by US$16.2m and again by US$US$26, and extends vanadium zone by 130% to 1.84 km in strike length.
  • Neometals agrees the sale of Mt Marion lithium mine equity for $A104 million and retains offtake rights....Balance sheet strengthened to support project development financing and offtake processes.
  • Australian Vanadium releases a strong PFS - Post-tax NPV8% of US616m (assumes V2O5 price of US$13/lb), CapEx US$354m, C1 cash costs estimate of US$4.15/lb V2O5.
  • Technology Metals Australia - In excess of 99.7% V2O5 achieved, confirmation of suitability of premium product for specialty vanadium markets.
  • Tando Resources - Massive maiden high grade inferred JORC Resource at SPD Vanadium of 588Mt at 0.78% V2O5. Including 80 Mt at 1.07% V2O5 surface component.

As usual all comments are welcome.

PS: I would like to thank all those that have supported my research in 2018. As we head into 2019 I would like to request those companies that I cover in the monthly news to consider to support the effort by joining Trend Investing in 2019. Happy New Year to all.

Disclosure: I am/we are long SYRAH RESOURCES [ASX:SYR], TRITON MINERALS [ASX:TON], NEOMETALS [ASX:NMT], LARGO RESOURCES [TSX:LGO], TECHNOLOGY METALS AUSTRALIA [ASX:TMT]. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: The information in this article is general in nature and should not be relied upon as personal financial advice.