Critical Vanadium Supply Collaboration For Neometals

ASX-listed minerals technology group Neometals’ joint venture partner Critical Metals has struck a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Swedish company H2 Green Steel that may open the door to a possible second vanadium recovery project for the partners.
Perth-based Neometals and Scandinavian resources outfit Critical Metals have been carrying out a scaled-up vanadium recovery pilot plant trial at a laboratory in Perth.
The pilot plant is milling and processing vanadium-bearing steel making by-product or “slag” to produce high-purity vanadium pentoxide via Neometals’ proprietary hydrometallurgical process technology for recovering vanadium from slag.
The JV has been sourcing the steel making by-product feedstock from Scandinavian steel mills and hopes to ultimately set up commercial vanadium recovery plant number one in Finland.
Neometals says H2 Green Steel is looking to establish a commercial integrated and automated greenfields steel plant in Boden, northern Sweden, that is currently slated to kick off in about three years.
According to Neometals, steel making by-product from H2 Green’s planned steel operations may represent a new valuable source of high-grade vanadium slag, potentially supporting a second, larger vanadium production operation for the JV at Boden.
Neometals sees commercial vanadium recovery plant number two as possibly being capable of processing 400,000 tonnes of slag per annum.
The collaboration with H2 Green Steel complements the existing 50:50 agreement between Neometals and Critical Metals in relation to the JV’s proposed vanadium recovery plant in Pori, Finland.
Neometals and Critical Metals have their sights set on the Pori plant recycling slag generated by Sweden-headquartered, global steel producing giant SSAB AG in Lulea, Sweden.
Neometals Managing Director Chris Reed said: “Neometals has been working with Critical to evaluate other opportunities, to build a pipeline of suitable feedstock sources to increase future production of potentially zero-carbon, high-purity vanadium chemicals for the energy storage market.”
“Importantly, the proposed H2 Green Steel plant and potential second slag processing plant are located in Boden just up the road from SSAB stockpiles in Lulea. We are confident that the H2GS slag may too contain very high-grade vanadium given the domestic source of the iron ore feedstocks.”
Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, H2 Green Steel will weigh up the economics of a 10-year high-grade vanadium slag supply arrangement with the JV and Critical Metals will carry out due diligence and testing of H2 Green Steel’s slag.
Neometals hopes to produce a definitive feasibility study on the proposed US$183.4 million development of the 200,000 tonne of slag per annum-capacity Finland vanadium recovery plant by around the middle of next year.
The $460 million market-capped company then aims to make a final investment decision in the December quarter of the same year.