Vanadium Miners News For The Month Of June 2019

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

Vanadium spot prices were flat in June.

Vanadium market news - Roskill updates on reasons for the vanadium price fall and the vanadium market outlook.

Vanadium company news - Western Uranium & Vanadium announces commencement of the Sunday Mine Complex Vanadium Project.

Welcome to Vanadium miners news. June saw vanadium prices flat and starting to stabilize now after a hefty past year fall. Overall, it was a solid month of progress for the vanadium miners despite weak vanadium prices.

Vanadium uses

Vanadium is traditionally used to harden steel. New Chinese rebar standards are requiring more vanadium. Also, Vanadium Flow Batteries [VRFBs] are becoming increasingly popular especially for commercial energy storage, most notably in China. Vanadium Pentoxide [V2O5] is used in VRFBs and Ferrovanadium [FeV] is used in the steel industry.

Vanadium spot price history

China Vanadium Pentoxide [V2O5] Flake 98% Price = USD 8.60/lb

China Ferrovanadium [FeV] 80% Price = USD 38.90/kg

Source: Vanadiumprice.com

Vanadium demand versus supply

The charts below show energy storage to be a new source of vanadium demand, and overall demand looks likely to grow very strongly to 2025.

Roskill estimates that vanadium demand "for VRFB markets" could rise to 31,000 tons by 2025, amounting to a rise of 3,100% in a decade.

Source: Australian Vanadium presentation

Vanadium total demand forecast to outstrip supply 2020-2025

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.

This month, I came across a May 2019 article by GlobalNewsWire quoting from "Roskill's Vanadium: Outlook to 2028" report:

Roskill: What lies ahead for a vanadium market in deficit? In preparation for the introduction of these new (rebar) standards, Chinese steel mills were stockpiling ferrovanadium in 2018 which underpinned the increase in prices. However, thus far the new standards have not been strictly enforced, and a "tolerance period" has been in place since November. Thus, rebar producers and the construction industry are still able to produce and utilise lower quality rebar. Some destocking occurred, which contributed to softening prices. This ongoing tolerance period is the main factor contributing to falling vanadium prices, although seasonal factors have played a part: little construction takes place in winter in China and thus demand for ferroalloys diminishes. In addition, higher-than-expected substitution of ferrovanadium for ferroniobium in China (caused by high vanadium prices) reduced vanadium demand and helped push prices downwards. With the peak season for Chinese construction still ahead, it remains possible that vanadium prices will stabilise or even begin to increase as the year progresses. Roskill maintains that any sign of strict implementation of new rebar standards will result in higher vanadium demand and thus higher prices. But as ever, vanadium prices are likely to be volatile. Roskill expects structural deficit and elevated prices to remain for some time, which should incentive a handful of new projects into production over the next decade.

And regarding Vanadium for VRFBs:

A major unknown, is represented by vanadium redox batteries [VRB]. Despite strong growth potential for vanadium in energy storage, VRB technology is highly price sensitive, owing to its direct competition with lithium-ion and other storage technologies. While reasonable growth in demand is expected towards the end of the outlook period, Roskill expects that given the general tightness in its baseline outlook for supply and demand, large volumes of vanadium are unlikely to be available to the battery sector at a price suitable for VRB commercialisation over the medium term.

Vanadium miner news

Vanadium producers

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

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

No vanadium related news for the month.

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 June 11, AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV announced:

AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. announces authorization to explore a separate public listing for its AMG Technologies Segment."

On June 14, AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV announced:

AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. has launched the marketing of $300 million of senior unsecured 30-year tax-exempt bonds to expand its resid spent catalyst recycling capacity by building a new, greenfield plant in the operational vicinity of its current resid spent catalyst processing plant in Cambridge, Ohio. The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority has approved the issuance of the bonds.

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.

On June 10, Bushveld Minerals announced:

Bushveld Energy and Avalon Battery innovate with vanadium electrolyte rental. Bushveld... is pleased to announce, that its 84%-owned energy subsidiary, Bushveld Energy Limited ("Bushveld Energy"), has enabled the successful deployment of an innovative vanadium electrolyte rental product in industrial-scale batteries developed and sold by Avalon Battery Corporation of Fremont, California ("Avalon Battery" or "Avalon"). Mikhail Nikomarov, CEO of Bushveld Energy commented: "Renting electrolyte is only practical with vanadium because the metal does not degrade after its useful life, one more reason that vanadium is the preferred mineral for energy storage systems... Now vanadium takes its place alongside gold, silver, and platinum, as a metal that can be leased, opening up immense future opportunities for this model."

On June 21, Bushveld Minerals announced: "Brits Vanadium maiden mineral resource." Highlights include:

  • The aggregate Inferred and Indicated Mineral Resource distributed across the three seams (the Lower, Intermediate, and Upper Seams) is reported as 66.8Mt at an average grade of 1.58 per cent V2O5 in magnetite, at a cut-off grade of 20 per cent magnetite in whole rock for 175,400 tonnes of contained vanadium.
  • The Indicated Mineral Resource tonnages account for 67 per cent of the total combined Mineral Resource and stand at 44.9Mt with an average grade of 1.59 per cent V2O5 in magnetite for 115,600 tonnes of contained vanadium across the three seams.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

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

Largo Resources is a pure-play vanadium pentoxide producer from their Maracás Menchen mine in Brazil.

On June 10, Largo Resources announced:

Largo Resources announces election to redeem all of its outstanding 9.25% senior secured notes. Largo Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has elected to redeem all of its outstanding 9.25% Senior Secured Notes due 2021 (the "Notes"). The Notes will be redeemed on July 7, 2019 (the "Redemption Date") at a redemption price equal to 104.625% of the principal amount of the Notes plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but not including the Redemption Date.

On June 11, Largo Resources announced: "Largo Resources substantially upgrades mineral resources at its Novo Amparo Norte deposit in Maracás, Brazil." Highlights include:

  • Total Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources of 12.23 million tonnes grading 0.88% V2O5 with magnetic concentrate grades of 2.41% V2O5.
  • Inferred Mineral Resources of 11.33 million tonnes grading 0.90% V2O5 with magnetic concentrate grades of 2.46% V2O5.
  • The resource is defined over a strike length of approximately two kilometers and remains open to the south and at depth.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

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

Energy Fuels state they are "the No. 1 uranium producer in the U.S. with a market-leading portfolio", as well as being a recent vanadium producer.

No significant news for the month.

Ferro Alloy Resources [LON:FAR]

No news for the month.

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 June 18, Western Uranium & Vanadium Corp. announced:

Western wishes to announce commencement of the Sunday Mine Complex Vanadium Project (the "Project"), yesterday the Sunday Mine and the St. Jude Mine portals were opened. The Company's Chief Geologist Dr. Kaiwen Wu has increased the scope of the project to also include the Carnation Mine; this will be the third of the five individual permitted and developed mines. Historical geological and mining data analysis of the sandstone hosted deposits has provided over a half dozen initial target locations for sampling to identify high grade vanadium zones. Following bulk sampling, vanadium ore samples will be delivered to prospective customers around the world.

The Sunday Mine Complex reopens

Source

Investors can read the latest company 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.

During June, Neometals announced Scoping Study results for a Li-ion recycling facility, MOU for a lithium refinery in India, zeolite production evaluation results, following on from the Barrambie Vanadium DFS results last month.

You can view the latest investor presentation here or "An Update On Neometals" or my recent article - "Neometals Managing Director Chris Reed Gives A Brief Update With Matt Bohlsen Of Trend Investing."

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

Australian Vanadium is an emerging vanadium producer focused on their Australian Vanadium Project in Western Australia.

On May 28, Australian Vanadium announced:

High purity vanadium pentoxide produced... High Purity 99.4% Vanadium Pentoxide (V2O5) produced from pre-pilot testwork. Product quality is comparable to standard products from existing global producers... Representative concentrate samples will proceed immediately to pilot scale roast-leach and hydrometallurgical refining testwork (Q3 and Q4, 2019).

On May 31 Australian Vanadium announced: "Nowthanna Hill mineral resource estimate for vanadium and uranium" Highlights include:

  • "Vanadium and Uranium are co-mineralised at Nowthanna Hill
  • Using a 250 ppm V2O5 cutoff the project has an Inferred Mineral Resource of 3.60 million tonnes at 337ppm V2O5 (2Mlbs) on the AVL tenements and is not additive to the uranium mineral resource estimate (see Table 1).
  • Using a 200ppm U3O8 cutoff the project has an Inferred Mineral Resource of 4.73 million tonnes at 404ppm U3O8 (4.2Mlbs) on the AVL tenements and is not additive to the vanadium mineral resource estimate."

Catalysts include:

  • December 2019 - DFS due

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 southeast of Meekatharra in the mid-west region of Western Australia.

On June 19, Technology Metals Australia announced:

Pilot plant scale kiln testwork confirms high vanadium recovery... Period of continuous feed confirmed very high vanadium solubility/recovery of 84.9% to 90.7%.

Catalysts include:

  • Mid 2019 - DFS due

You can view the latest investor presentation here or read "Technology Metals Australia Executive 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 NPV 8% but relies on titanium and iron with a lower grade vanadium by-product.

On June 11 TNG announced:

TNG secures strategic A$10m investment by leading German institutions as part of A$15m capital raising to advance Mount Peake.

You can view the latest investor video presentations 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 June 11, Aura Energy announced:

Aura extends its gold & battery metals footprint in highly prospective Tasiast Gold Belt, Mauritania (70%) farm-in agreement extends Aura's holdings of the Tasiast Belt to 45km strike length of prime archean greenstone. Nickel, copper and cobalt potential exists in addition to gold.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

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

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 June 19, Prophecy Development Corp. announced:

Advancing first primary vanadium mine in the USA: EIS contractor appointed... We believe Gibellini is the only project poised to begin vanadium mine production in the US by 2022, just 3 years from now."

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 June 17, Tando Resources announced:

Tando to convert Phase 1 Scoping Study to PFS and commence development of Phase 2... Offtake discussions progressing, with agreements likely to be concluded successfully, provided recent movements towards a stable vanadium pricing environment continue... The size, grade and scope of the shallow high-grade resource of 169Mt at 1.07% (in situ) V2O5 is foreseen to enable the development of long-life operations for both phases 1 and 2.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

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

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

No vanadium related news for the month.

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 is also developing leading process technologies 'VanadiumCorp-Electrochem Processing Technology' and "Electrochem globally patented Electrowinning" technology.

On May 29, VanadiumCorp Resources Inc. announced: "LOI Signed for Acquisition & Secured Offtake for VanadiumCorp's Iron-T Vanadium-Titanium-Iron Project":

An exclusive non-refundable $25k CDN payment for 60 days of due diligence and exclusivity.

The LOI envisages a three-stage earn-in by the private company where it will have the right to:

  • Earn a 75% interest on completion of US$5 million of exploration expenditures and 1 million of cash and stock payments to VanadiumCorp within the 4th anniversary of the signing of the Definitive Agreement ("First Option");
  • Earn an additional 10% interest on completion of positive preliminary economic assessment ("Second Earn-in"); and
  • Earn an additional 15% interest on completion of a positive feasibility study ("Third Earn-in").
  • The private company will become the operator and responsible for ongoing costs related to the project. Property and will have the right to accelerate the exercise of the earn-in by completing all the exploration expenditures and any outstanding cash and stock payments to VanadiumCorp in a period shorter than the earn-in term."

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 28Mt at 0.525% V2O5 (2010 SRK).

No significant news for the month.

Investors can read the latest company presentation here.

Graphite miners with potential vanadium projects

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

Other vanadium juniors

  • CellCube Energy Storage [TSXV:CUBE] (STNUF)
  • 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)
  • Maxtech Ventures [CSE:MVT]
  • Pursuit Minerals [ASX:PUR]
  • Victory Metals [TSXV:VMX]
  • BlackRock Metals (Private)

VRFB Companies

  • Protean Energy [ASX:POW] [GR:SHE1]
  • CellCube Energy Storage [TSXV:CUBE]

Conclusion

Vanadium spot prices were flat in June.

Highlights for the month include:

  • Roskill - Thus far the new rebar standards have not been strictly enforced, leading to less use of vanadium than expected, and lower prices.
  • Roskill expects a structural vanadium deficit and elevated prices to remain for some time, which should incentive a handful of new projects into production over the next decade.
  • AMG is raising $300 million of senior unsecured 30-year tax-exempt bonds to expand its resid spent catalyst recycling capacity by building a new, greenfield plant near its current Ohio plant.
  • Bushveld Energy and Avalon Battery innovate with vanadium electrolyte rental. Bushveld declares Brits Vanadium maiden mineral I&I resource of 66.8Mt at an average grade of 1.58 per cent V2O5 in magnetite.
  • Largo Resources repurchased all US$22.4 million of its 9.25% Senior Secured Notes due 2021. Largo substantially upgrades mineral resources at Maracás, Brazil to a M&I Resource of 12.23mt at 0.88% V2O5, and Inferred Mineral Resources of 11.33mt at 0.90% V2O5.
  • Western Uranium & Vanadium announce commencement of the Sunday Mine Complex Vanadium Project.
  • VandiumCorp - LOI signed for acquisition & secured offtake for VanadiumCorp's Iron-T vanadium-titanium-iron project.

As usual, all comments are welcome.

Disclosure: I am/we are long GLENCORE [LSX:GLEN], AMG ADVANCED METALLURGICAL GROUP NV [AMS:AMG], LARGO RESOURCES [TSX:LGO], NEOMETALS [ASX:NMT], AUSTRALIAN VANADIUM [ASX:AVL],TECHNOLOGY METALS AUSTRALIA [ASX:TMT], SYRAH RESOURCES [ASX:SYR], TRITON MINERALS [ASX:TON]. 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.