American Vanadium Corp (CVE:AVC) announced Monday it achieved first vanadium during pilot-scale metallurgical testing at its Gibellini project in Nevada.
"We are very excited as the textbook results of this pilot scale testing are an important validation of our metallurgical process," said president and CEO, Bill Ravdak.
"This is a major milestone as we have demonstrated that our process can produce vanadium products with higher value while also meeting the steadily growing needs of the steel industry."
Gibellini is located in Eureka County, Nevada, about 27.5 miles south of the town of Eureka, and encompasses an area of approximately 2,624 acres. The Mt Wheeler Power line runs 7 miles north of the site and State route 379, an improved gravel road, runs within three miles of the property.
The first target has been Louie Hill, which is adjacent to the current resource, and will be followed by the nearby Del Rio, where large surface vanadium anomalies were discovered this past fall.
The vanadium pentoxide produced during testing, also known as "purple flake," is critical as a steel strengthener, and is useful in higher value applications, like the titanium and chemical industries.
Vanadium electrolyte, the other product generated during the metallurgical process, is often used in vanadium-flow batteries for utility scale energy storage, lending to the integration of renewable energy resources for electrical grids.
"We will be using the resultant materials to pursue off-takes with steel companies as well as partnerships and joint ventures with vanadium flow battery technology and manufacturing companies," Radvak added.
After the feasibility study for the project is released, an updated NI 43-101 compliant resource report is expected to follow. The company's goal is to start production at the vanadium mine by 2013.
Through an aggressive exploration program, the company is focused on increasing the resources of the five other vanadium occurrences on its 6,600 acre property.