Surefire Goes After Vanadium Resource Boost

Aiming to kick its vanadium resource into production, Surefire Resources has completed a bout of infill RC and diamond drilling at the company’s 100 per cent owned Victory Bore vanadium deposit in WA’s Mid West region 50km south of Sandstone. The drilling program comprised 62 RC holes for 5188m and two diamond drill holes for 292m.
The infill drilling program was designed to upgrade the resource confidence category, to inform mining studies and provide samples for metallurgical tests as part of a prefeasibility study that has now commenced.
Portable XRF analysis was used onsite to guide the drilling.
The Victory Bore deposit has an inferred mineral resource of 151 million tonnes at 0.44 per cent vanadium pentoxide, 25 per cent iron and 6.73 per cent titanium dioxide.
In conjunction with Surefire’s smaller Unaly Hill resource to the south-west, the two projects form the company’s combined Victory Bore/Unaly Hill project.
The amalgamation holds one of the largest contained vanadium pentoxide resources in WA with an inferred mineral resource of 237 million tonnes grading 0.43 per cent vanadium pentoxide, 24.9 per cent iron and 5.9 per cent titanium dioxide.
This represents a whopping 2.263 billion pounds of contained vanadium pentoxide.
In May, the company updated the beneficiation costs of an earlier scoping study and confirmed the project’s economic viability using the prevailing vanadium pentoxide flake price of US$11.10 per pound.
Surefire’s initial production model suggests it has enough resources to process 3.2 million tonnes of ore per annum and produce 7600 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide per annum for a mine life of more than 40 years.
Prices reached a fever pitch in mid-March this year, going up into the US$12 per pound range, however according to the Shanghai Metals Market, today the price of vanadium pentoxide flake is US$7.15 per pound.
Whilst the prices may have pulled back, the long-term outlook for the speciality metal remains strong. Technavio Research group suggests the global vanadium market will grow by 28,310 tonnes from a base of 73,000 tonnes from 2020 to 2024.
Vanadium has long been used to create steel alloys, nuclear reactors and aircraft carriers but the metal’s employment in the production of vanadium redox flow batteries has recently brought it to the forefront of a bubbling industry.
In the renewable energy space, the batteries are often used to store electricity for utility networks, commercial premises and industrial sites. The devices are also used to store energy generated by solar and wind-powered systems.