The company’s managing director Ian Prentice outlined the TMT story during a presentation at Cicero Group's annual Diggers and Dealers Luncheon titled 'Leading the Charge in the Vanadium Industry'.
Changing market fundamentals
He said the story was strengthening by the changing fundamentals for “a metal we can't do without” leading to a global deficit.
As there are just three primary vanadium mines globally, TMT intends to be the fourth with Gabanintha, which is among the world’s highest-grade, high-purity, large-scale vanadium deposits.
Gabanintha hosts a maiden reserve of 16.7 million tonnes at 0.96% vanadium pentoxide and this is being updated in a definitive feasibility study (DFS) based on a measured and indicated resource of 30 million tonnes at 0.9%.
As well as having a globally significant high-grade resource that underpins project economics, a key point of difference for TMT is the recent appointment of industry expert David English as project director.
English has had experience in most aspects of the vanadium industry and this will be invaluable in taking the project forward to development and operation.
"We are well placed to learn from the failures and successes of others in the sector."
The high purity product from Gabanintha will support end-user engagement with the company looking to build on a positive PFS with a DFS that is underway.
The June 2018 PFS delivered operating costs in the lowest quartile as well as a life-of-mine of more than 13 years.
Straight forward geology providing cost-effective mining and processing is supported by strong market fundamentals which show the market has been in supply deficit since 2010.
Pilot plant scale test work has been completed with successful results while kiln/roasting test work by kiln experts FLSmidth has confirmed recovery rates of at least 85%, de-risking the project and confirming scalability.
DFS expected to enhance project
These factors are providing strong encouragement that the DFS will further enhance the project.
Prentice said the DFS was working towards a mine life of 16 or 17 years with scope to add to resources and reserves.
TMT has also established the framework for a binding offtake agreement with major Chinese industry player CNMNC.
With the permitting and approvals process ongoing, TMT expects to begin detailed design work in the final quarter of 2019 leading to an expected construction start in the second half of 2020.
Prentice concluded that the market needed new supplies of vanadium to fill the growing supply gap and TMT was leading the charge.