Technology Metals Australia Delivers 32% Increase In Vanadium Resource At Yarrabubba

Technology Metals Australia Ltd (ASX:TMT) has markedly increased the Yarrabubba Project’s mineral resource estimate, expanding 32% to 36.6 million tonnes at 0.8% Vanadium Pentoxide (V2O5), with the indicated category increasing 110% to 20.2 million tonnes at 0.9% V2O5.
TMT is a Western Australia-based company, focused on developing its 100%-owned Yarrabubba Iron-Vanadium-Titanium Project within the Gabanintha Vanadium Project south of Meekatharra in Western Australia.
The company is developing its projects to supply high-quality vanadium oxide flake product for both steel and vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) markets.
World-class project in the works
“The Yarrabubba mineral resource upgrade is very pleasing, delivering on our objectives with a significant increase to the overall mineral resource and importantly more than doubling the indicated mineral resource component,” TMT managing director Ian Prentice said.
“This underlines the opportunity for Yarrabubba to materially extend the life of the proposed low-cost Murchison Technology Metals Project (MTMP) as a large-scale, world-class vanadium development project, which is expected to be viewed favourably by prospective project financiers and key stakeholders.”
Infill and reverse circulation (RC) drilling at Yarrabubba is now complete, with all samples expected to be received by the laboratory by the end of the week.
Integrated metals project
TMT intends to create a vertically integrated vanadium production stream called the Murchison Technology Metals Project, fed by its own mines to produce vanadium flake and eventually other downstream, sustainability-focused applications.
The upgraded mineral resource includes a high-grade component of 19 million tonnes at 1.1% V2O5, increasing the MTMP high-grade component to 79.8 million tonnes at 1.1% V2O5, offering considerable high-quality production upside.
Technology Metals recently executed a Memorandum of Understanding with Japanese vanadium redox flow battery manufacturer, LE System Co Ltd. The two companies will investigate the viability of applying LE System’s proprietary technology to extract vanadium and other metals from the Gabanintha Vanadium Project waste streams.
The company also signed a binding vanadium pentoxide offtake agreement with CNMC (Ningxia) Orient Group Company Ltd in April of 2020.
This agreement covers a minimum annual quantity of V2O5 to be purchased of 2,000 tonnes per annum on a take or pay basis with an agreed pricing structure and an initial three-year term, with an option to extend for a further three years.
Under the agreement, a range of conditions precedent were to be either satisfied or waived by TMT by June 30, 2021.
The two companies have agreed to a 12-month extension, extending the timeline for satisfaction or waiver of these conditions until at least June 30, 2022.
Logistical updates
Technology Metals is in offtake, technical collaboration and project development and funding discussions with a broad range of counterparties for its vanadium flake product.
Yarrabubba is a breakthrough according to the company, providing two product streams – the high-grade, high purity iron (+vanadium) concentrate and the titanium by-product – and delivering potential for a low risk, lower entry cost project that is complementary to, and expected to reduce funding and implementation risk for, Gabanintha.
TMT referred the Gabanintha Vanadium Projects (GVP) to the Western Australia Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in November of 2018. The EPA determined that GVP will undergo a formal environmental impact assessment with no public comment period.
Several environmental field surveys have been completed since, designed to address key environmental impacts in relation to development of the GVP.
The compilation of all data collected and preparation of a final draft Environmental Review Document (ERD) was completed early this year, with a final draft of the ERD submitted to the EPA in early March 2021.
Feedback from the EPA has already been received and the company is preparing an updated ERD to address matters raised which will be submitted in the current quarter.
Vanadium market
The vanadium market has been strengthening consistently over the course of 2021 as global economies have been progressively emerging from COVID-19 restrictions and stimulus spending has begun to drive increased demand for vanadium.
Steel production demand for vanadium has been supplemented by a growing demand for vanadium redux flow batteries, which are a strong contender to become the basis for renewable and off-grid energy storage solutions. Demand is outstripping supply, resulting in a steady increase of vanadium prices across markets.
These circumstances have positioned Technology Metals Australia to respond to this demand-driven market, with a definitive feasibility study (DFS) completed on the Tier 1 high-grade, low-cost, large-scale, long-life GVP and a DFS nearing completion on the high-grade, high purity iron (+vanadium) concentrate plus titanium by-product at Yarrabubba.