Neometals Improves Economics Of Vanadium Recovery Project

ASX-listed Neometals has announced improved economics at its proposed vanadium recovery project (VRP1) in Finland, following the completion of a feasibility study.
The feasibility study has highlighted a 40% increase in the project’s projected pre-tax net present value, which is now estimated at $323-million, compared with the figures estimated in the prefeasibility study (PFS), while the pretax internal rate of return now stands at 24.8%.
This resulted from an increase in the annual throughput rates from the 200 000 t/y estimated in the PFS, to 300 000 t/y, increasing production from 13.34-million pounds a year to 19.1-million pounds a year.
The feasibility study estimates a capital cost of $314.4-million, which is also lower than the $341-million estimated in an engineering cost study last year, while the net operating cost is now estimated at $4.19/lb, down from the $4.38/lb estimated in that same study.
Neometals holds a 50% interest in Recycling Industries Scandinavia AB (RISAB), which is evaluating the construction of a facility to process and recover high-grade vanadium pentoxide from vanadium-bearing steelmaking by-products generated by SSAB EMEA AB and SSAB Europe Oy in Scandinavia.
Under the binding feedstock supply contract, SSAB will supply two-million tonnes of slag with RISAB having the first right to purchase additional tonnes on an as-available basis.
“Neometals is encouraged by the outcomes of the feasibility study. Importantly, increased evaluation detail and cost accuracy has not seen a significant departure from prior cost studies,” said Neometals MD Chris Reed.
“VRP1 remains in the first quartile of the operating cost curve and since the historical PFS, the sector tailwinds behind this project have increased markedly. With our newly expanded 300 000 t/y feed rate and some updated data since the last cost study, the feasibility study highlights the significant opportunity that exists. Specifically, that opportunity is to deliver some of the highest-grade, lowest-cost vanadium chemicals globally with a carbon-negative footprint. Security of supply is a key issue globally, particularly so in the EU where battery material resilience is the topic du jour.”
Neometals on Wednesday said that a final investment decision on the project was scheduled for June this year, subject to finance, with construction initially planned for July, and operations flagged to start early in 2026.