Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) maintained its focus on technical excellence throughout the September quarter by continuing pilot work for its flagship namesake project in Western Australia, setting the building blocks for positive bankable due diligence outcomes in 2021.
The team made significant breakthroughs in the technical study, such as improvements to vanadium recovery from the pelletised roast circuit, which indicated an increased vanadium recovery of up to 8% compared to earlier work.
Funding of the project will be contingent on offtake agreements with credible partners and during the quarter AVL secured two unique MOUs from the new vanadium battery market.
VRFB manufacturers are increasingly aware of the need to secure rare future V2O5 production to enable product delivery.
AVL’s technical knowledge and experience in high purity vanadium production, electrolyte production and battery sales development via VSUN Energy, offer an ideal partner to VRFB companies.
New VRFB MOU
This week, the company also signed an MOU with Singapore-based vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) manufacturer, V-Flow Tech Pte Ltd which provides opportunities relating to VRFBs and includes development of:
- Vanadium products (V2O5) offtake to V-Flow in Singapore to support global battery sales;
- Vanadium electrolyte manufacture and supply in Australia for V-Flow VRFBs;
- Sales agreement with AVL’s 100%-owned subsidiary VSUN Energy for VRFB sales in Australia; and
- VRFB service and maintenance.
The MOU is non-binding and for a term of two years with an option to renew for a further 12 months by agreement in writing, with a 30-day notice period on either side for termination.
Green hydrogen offtake MOU
Recently, Australian Vanadium signed an MOU with ATCO Australia for the supply of green hydrogen for the company’s planned processing plant near Geraldton.
ATCO is one of seven proponents shortlisted by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) under the Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Round to develop a project for the commercial-scale production of hydrogen gas in Australia.
The MOU provides a basis for negotiations to establish a binding offtake agreement, with the intention for ATCO to supply 10% of the total gas requirements with green hydrogen.
Managing director Vincent Algar said: “Working with a company of ATCO’s calibre will enable AVL to use green hydrogen in the natural gas supply, thereby reducing our carbon footprint.
“We are excited to be part of creating local industrial consumption markets for an emerging hydrogen industry in Western Australia.”
Green Hydrogen strategy
The company’s intention is to explore the use of green hydrogen for both vanadium processing and transportation, with the economic parameters a key driver in any decision making.
AVL’s green hydrogen strategy, which was announced on November 12, comprises:
- Use of hydrogen in the ore reduction process;
- Introducing hydrogen into the natural gas pipeline;
- Transportation – from mine site vehicles through to haulage trucks; and
- The use of hydrogen ammonia byproduct material in vanadium processing.
The AVL team was joined by experienced company executive Cliff Lawrenson in early October.
Lawrenson’s extensive fundraising, corporate and deal experience is a key addition to the board as AVL enters its next critical phase of BFS delivery, funding and development.
In April, Gabanintha was awarded Major Project Status by the Federal Government in recognition of its national significance, on top of another federal grant for improving vanadium processing efficiency and Lead Agency Status by the Western Australian Government.
“Significant size and economic potential”
At the time, Algar said: Formal recognition of the importance of The Australian Vanadium Project to Western Australia by the State Government is a crucial step forward.
“The status provides greater certainty to those considering an investment in the project, which is already located in a tier-1 global mining destination.
“AVL has defined a vanadium project of significant size and economic potential.”
The project is around 43 kilometres south of Meekatharra comprising 11 tenements and covering a total of 260 square kilometres.
With a total resource of 208 million tonnes at 0.74% vanadium and a combined measured and indicated resource of 35.2 million tonnes at 1.11% vanadium, the project hosts an initial mine life of 17 years which the company believes has ‘significant ground’ for extension.
Key objectives and ongoing priorities include:
- Completing large-scale downstream processing pilot program and definitive process flow diagrams;
- Environmental impact studies, water and submission to EPA;
- Financing and resource bank engagement;
- Offtake agreements;
- Mining schedule and financial model based on the new resource profile;
- Updated PFS to form the basis for BFS;
- BFS completion;
- Detailed design engineering completion; and
- Construction, start-up, commissioning and ramp-up.