TMA Eyeing Major Vanadium Project

Vanadium oxide samples are collected from the Gabanintha project in Western Australia. (Photo: TMA)
Technology Metals Australia (TMA) has reported results from a definitive feasibility study (DFS) of its Gabanintha vanadium project 40 kilometers (km) southeast of Meekatharra in the Mid West region of Western Australia. The study confirms the project as a long-life, low-cost, high-value, relatively low risk, and technically strong development opportunity with a proposed average production rate of 12,800 metric tons per year (mt/y) of high-purity V2O5 over an operating life of more than 16 years.

Preproduction capital costs for the process plant are estimated at US$318 million, with a 3.2-year payback. Preproduction mining capital is estimated at A$16 million, predominantly consisting of mining contractor mobilization and establishment costs. The DFS calls for development of an open-pit mining operation, followed by crushing, milling, magnetic separation, and salt roasting/water leaching to produce high-purity (+99%) V2O5 product for use in the steel, specialty alloy, chemical, and battery industries. Project metrics compare favorably to global vanadium producers, with lowest-quartile lifeof- mine cash costs of US$4.04/lb of V2O5.

TMA does not currently have the financial capacity to internally fund 100% of the development of Gabanintha. The company has engaged financial advisers to assist in the evaluation of various financing strategies and engage with prospective strategic investors, financiers, and offtake partners. Discussions have been held with vanadium end-users across a range of industry sectors.

The most advanced of these discussions has delivered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CNMC Ningxia Orient Group, a subsidiary of China Nonferrous Metal Mining. The MoU establishes a framework for a binding V2O5 offtake agreement, with agreed key terms including an initial minimum annual quantity of 2,000 mt/y of V2O5 over a minimum three-year term and an option for an additional three years.

As featured in Womp 2019 Vol 10 -