Surefire Resources’ Updated Study Confirms Economic Viability Of Victory Bore Vanadium Project

“Excellent metallurgical properties and straightforward mining and beneficiation will put the project at the low end of the cost curve,” says MD Vladimir Nikolaenko.

Surefire Resources NL - Surefire Resources' updated study confirms economic viability of Victory Bore Vanadium Project

Surefire Resources NL (ASX:SRN)’s updated beneficiation scoping study has confirmed the economic viability of its Victory Bore Vanadium Project in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia.

Following a sustained increase in the vanadium price, the company commissioned industry leader MinRizon to review and update the original scoping study with prevailing costs and identify opportunities for process improvements.

Moving forward, Surefire is focusing on the larger, higher-grade Victory Bore deposit pending further work on the Unaly Hill deposit with a full pre-feasibility study (PFS) also on the cards.

Scoping study considerations

Quest Minerals, the predecessor to Surefire, undertook the original scoping study on the vanadium project in 2012.

The updated scoping study is based on the mineral resource estimate completed by CSA Global Pty Ltd in accordance with JORC 2012 standard

This study examined using conventional mining, beneficiation and transport processes and concentrated on the beneficiation and transport components.

Further, pit optimisation in support of open cut mining was also planned.

Beneficiation study

Ore will be beneficiated using standard crushing, two pass grinding and magnetic separation using dry and wet low-intensity magnetic separators.

The proposed operation will use industry-standard beneficiation equipment and processes.

Notably, vanadium weight recovery is expected to be 94% pre-final leach recovery and 89.2% for a vanadium pentoxide product.

Surefire has confirmed that the flowsheet will remain with opportunities for further improvement have been identified during the study.

Vanadium market

Surefire has highlighted the following trends in the vanadium market:

  • The vanadium price continues to experience steady increases;
  • High-capacity battery storage is favouring vanadium-based Redox Flow batteries;
  • Acceleration of space-based exploration and research together with increased usage in high-velocity transport applications is driving vanadium consumption; and
  • The outbreak of hostilities in Eastern Europe and the ramifications for the global defence industry has seen an uptick in high-performance vanadium steel alloy use. In parallel, the large traditional sources of China and Russia are exiting the supply-side market and, in the case of China, have become net vanadium importers.


Surefire’s Beneficiation test-work has demonstrated that three products can be extracted from the ore:

  • Vanadium pentoxide flake (V2O5) – currently US$11.10 per pound or A$15.41 at FOREX US$0.72;
  • Ferrovanadium (FeV) by extending the process through to an arc furnace stage – currently US$45.25 per kilogram or A$62.84 at FOREX US$0.72; and
  • Magnetite concentrate that is ideal for the production of ‘green iron’ pig iron – currently US$660.35 per ton or A$917.15 at FOREX US$0.72.

Forward plan

The original scoping study envisaged further processing of the vanadium pentoxide to ferrovanadium with the inclusion of an electric arc furnace.

The economic benefit of doing this, and the added benefits of progressing to a pig iron product from the iron byproduct, will be assessed at the PFS level.

Looking ahead, Surefire will assess the optimal production route to maximise the project’s profitability and shareholder returns.

Surefire managing director Vladimir Nikolaenko said: “Surefire is well-positioned to have the Victory Bore Vanadium Project enter the market at a critical time in the vanadium industry.

“Excellent metallurgical properties and straightforward mining and beneficiation will put the project at the low end of the cost curve.”