Australian Vanadium (ASX: AVL) has collared a memorandum of understanding with China-based steel and alloy manufacturer Win-Win Development Group to discuss potential offtake and finance opportunities for the Gabanintha vanadium project.
According to Australian Vanadium, Win-Win is developing a facility that will be able to produce 5,000 tonnes per annum vanadium carbon nitrate, which requires up to 8,000tpa of 98% vanadium pentoxide.
Win-Win is building the facility in stages with the first phase needing up to 3,000tpa 98% vanadium pentoxide and is due for commissioning in 2019.
Additionally, Win-Win has a stake in an operational production line that is generating 2,400tpa of vanadium carbon nitride for the steel sector.
Australian Vanadium claims Win-Win’s development time-line coincides with the schedule for its flagship Gabanintha project in Western Australia.
“The Win-Win team are fully in-tune with the needs of the vanadium alloy market in China,” Australian Vanadium managing director Vincent Algar commented.
“Their development plans will set them up as a significant supplier of vanadium carbon nitride to feed the rising demand for this feedstock as the new rebar standards are implemented,” he said.
Mr Algar added that Win-Win had conducted due diligence on Gabanintha and identified it as one of the more likely vanadium projects to provide the required grade and feedstocks quantities.
Australian Vanadium’s management team, including Mr Algar, travelled to China to discuss the finance and offtake opportunities with both companies signing the agreement yesterday.
The agreement opens the door for both companies to evaluate Win-Win potentially investing in Gabanintha or providing financing, as well as offtake and general collaboration possibilities.
Vanadium carbon nitrate
Vanadium carbon nitrate is made by reacting vanadium oxides with graphite and nitrogen. Steel makers purchase the resulting alloy to manufacture micro-alloy steels particularly steel rebar.
According to Australian Vanadium, China steel makers often prefer vanadium carbon nitrate alloys to ferro vanadium because they achieve the same strength and properties with less vanadium.
Gabanintha vanadium project
Australian Vanadium is focussed on unlocking the vanadium value at Gabanintha which also hosts cobalt, nickel and copper mineralisation.
The project has a current JORC resource of 179.6 million tonnes grading 0.75% vanadium pentoxide. A higher-grade zone within the resource includes 92.8Mt grading 0.96% vanadium pentoxide.
Australian Vanadium’s share price was up 2.43% to A$0.042 at midday.