Australian Vanadium Achieves Significant Research Milestones For Vanadium Project

In 2020, AVL was awarded a Co-operative Research Centre Project grant of $1.25 million by the Australian Federal Government through a competitive award process.

Australian Vanadium Ltd - Australian Vanadium achieves significant research milestones for vanadium project
Pellets being unloaded from rotary kiln.

Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) has made significant progress in achieving research milestones for its Australian Vanadium Project in Gabanintha, WA.

The milestones are related to the Co-operative Research Centre Project (CRC-P) entitled ‘Production of 99.95% Pure Vanadium Pentoxide and Vanadium Electrolytes’.

Feasibility work to develop vanadium project

In February 2020, AVL was awarded a CRC-P grant of $1.25 million by the Australian Federal Government through a competitive award process.

This formed part of a $4.9 million project to complement feasibility work focusing on the development of AVL’s 100% owned Australian Vanadium Project.

Up to the end of February 2021, AVL has received $823,370 in grant payments.

Partner and in-kind AVL expenditures reported to 31 December 2020 and as forecast to 31 March 2021 are $2,042,461.

Milestone updates

AVL’s CRC-P is organised into six sub-projects, or milestones.

Four critical milestones are aligned with the bankable feasibility study (BFS), and these have been the focus of AVL’s work over the past year.

Two other milestones are for work not related to the BFS, such as investigations into vanadium electrolyte production and recovery from low grade ores.

Significant progress has been achieved related to the research milestones including:

  • Pyrometallurgical pilot with Metso’s Grate Kiln technology complete and has confirmed its suitability for vanadium, with extractions of up to 94.9% achieved.
  • Hydrometallurgical test-work has demonstrated the effectiveness of the ammonium polyvanadate precipitation process, leading to a high purity product.
  • Characterisation and test-work of variability samples has demonstrated high iron grades of over 60% achievable in concentrates from southern ore blocks.
  • Benchscale reduction-roast test-work has demonstrated that the FeTi coproduct stream can be upgraded to 66% iron, with further work underway using alternative reductants such as green hydrogen.

Maximising upstream and downstream benefits

Vanadium electrolyte production and low-grade ore beneficiation work streams are ongoing as part of the CRC-P, to maximise upstream and downstream benefits.

AVL has already submitted a vanadium processing circuit patent application based on the results achieved as part of the CRC-P.

Importantly, all research work milestones complement the company’s progress towards the completion of the Bankable Feasibility Study for the Australian Vanadium Project.

“Further positive economic benefits”

AVL managing director Vincent Algar said: “The AVL team and its partners in the CRC-P have added significant value to the Project with the help of the CRC-P funding.

“The results will add further positive economic benefits to the Project and strengthen the detailed technical knowledge which underpins the company’s approach.

“This success of the CRC-P so far has been helped by working with high calibre partners Wood, ALS, Curtin University and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

“The ongoing support of the Government in Critical Mineral Industry development is of great value to AVL and the communities in which we are operating.”