Australian Vanadium Signs Offtake LOI With Shenglong Metallurgy

Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Guangxi Shenglong Metallurgy International Pte Limited for offtake of its iron titanium (FeTi) co-product.
The product is to be produced at AVL’s Australian Vanadium Project in Western Australia’s Mid-West.
AVL plans to produce 900,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of FeTi co-product from the project along with 24.3 million pounds of V2O5 per annum.
This is in addition to 11,022 tpa of vanadium pentoxide from its proposed mine and processing facility.
AVL’s vanadium processing facility is strategically located near Geraldton Port, which significantly lowers road transport costs, will enable the sale of the FeTi co-product and enhances the project’s economic resilience through the addition of a secondary revenue stream.
Sale of the FeTi co-product is part of AVL’s strategy to reduce overall project risk.
LOI demonstrates marketability
Shenglong Metallurgy International is the Hong Kong-based commercial arm of Guangxi Shenglong Metallurgy Co. Ltd, a 12 million tpa steel producer.
Shenglong is a privately owned steel enterprise with a steel mill in China’s southern Guangxi province at Fangchnggang port area, one of the largest iron ore ports in China.
Due to its proximity to the port, Shenglong mainly imports its iron ore raw material from overseas.
AVL has been engaged with Shenglong since late 2020, with the LOI to strengthen the partnership between the pair.
“AVL looks forward to working with the team at Shenglong Metallurgy Co. Ltd as we develop the project,” AVL managing director Vincent Algar said.
“We started our engagement with Shenglong Metallurgy in late 2020 through AVL’s FeTi marketing and sales manager, currently based in China.
“We have developed unique market awareness and have engaged with Shenglong Metallurgy and other potential steel mill clients in China about the opportunity presented by AVL’s FeTi co-product.
“This first LOI demonstrates the marketability for AVL’s FeTi co-product among the steelmakers.”
This is a non-binding LOI and its intention is to record the interest of the buyer to support the development of the Australian Vanadium Project. The companies intend to negotiate and agree a binding ore sale contract, which will occur subject to the project’s progress.
AVL and Shenglong will look to finalise the ore sale contract in 2023, at a yearly tonnage to be determined.
The price of the FeTi co-product will be referenced to the 62% Fe Platts Iron Ore Index or another agreed price index, with a mutually acceptable price adjustment reflecting the market situation at the time.
AVL will provide Shenglong with quarterly updates and supply samples for testing at regular intervals for feedback.
The company is also actively progressing additional LOIs which, according to Algar “will lead to binding agreements”.
Mitigating price risk
Sale of the FeTi co-product is part of AVL’s strategy to reduce overall project risk and its price will be tied to the Platts62 Fines Index Price.
The FeTi co-product provides a low-cost titanium source and additional low-cost iron units to steel producers. It is ideally suited for use in iron sintering feeds.
Blast furnace operators often add titanium to sintering blends to improve furnace refractory protection and to minimise maintenance costs associated with furnace relines.
AVL’s FeTi co-product will enter the market as a stable alternative to existing sources of similar material.
The iron ore and vanadium price have historically not performed in sync, offering unique opportunities for AVL to mitigate vanadium price risk and provide a secondary revenue source for the project.