An Australia mining company is seeking permission to start exploratory drilling for the rare element vanadium in southeast Alaska.

Northern Cobalt Ltd. has applied to the U.S. Forest Service for the proposed project on Snettisham Inlet, CoastAlaska reported . The site is in the Tongass National Forest about 35 miles southeast of Juneau.

Vanadium is used in steel alloys, as well as rechargeable industrial batteries used in power grids and industrial plants.

There are no active federal mining claims at the site. Exploratory drilling for iron ore was conducted at the location in 2012, but those claims were abandoned amid a collapse in iron prices.