Finalising feasibility studies, securing finance and furthering uptake of its vanadium redox flow batteries are on the cards for Australian Vanadium in 2020.

While the global vanadium market was relatively flat in 2019 compared to the heights it reached the previous year, Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL) has nonetheless made significant strides.

During 2019, the company’s namesake project was awarded Federal Major Project Status, while its vanadium redox flow battery subsidiary VSUN Energy announced two battery sales.

Australian Vanadium also spent 2019 de-risking the project, which has a reserve of 18 million tonnes (Mt) at 1.05 per cent V2O5 within a broader resource of 183.6Mt at 0.76 per cent V2O5.

This reserve is estimated in the company’s pre-feasibility study to be sufficient for a 17-year mine life at the estimated production rate of 22.5 million pounds of V2O5 per annum

The company has built and strengthened relationships with potential funding and joint venture partners as well as chosen a potential site for the processing plant near Geraldton that is expected to reduce water and power requirements.

Managing director Vincent Algar told Stockhead that while 2019 was not an easy year, the company was well funded – thanks in part to a raising of over $6m – to push forward with its strategies.

The year ahead

The company recently completed an infill drilling program that confirmed the continuity of the unique massive magnetite zones at the project.

This is expected to upgrade more of the current resource from the inferred status to the higher confidence indicated status.

Indicated resources have enough grade continuity and geological certainty behind them to support mine planning.

Algar said that in 2020, Australian Vanadium would also look to lock in project finance and key strategic partnerships as it finalised feasibility studies for its vanadium project.

The company also planning to further develop VSUN Energy and drive the uptake of vanadium redox flow batteries.

“By the end of 2020, we would like to have completed detailed engineering work, secured finance and obtained the approvals we require,” Algar said.

“We would like to be well down the road to ordering long lead time items such as our roasting kiln, and preparing to initiate early works at our project sites.”

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