The Steelpoortdrift Vanadium Project is located in an well established mining jurisdiction in South Africa, with vanadium currently produced from the Bushveld Complex at the Rhovan and Vametco operations. In addition to vanadium the Bushveld Complex also produces platinum and chrome from mines operated by significant international companies such as Glencore, Anglo American, Lonmin and Samancor.
A Mining Right is in place over the Steelpoortdrift Vanadium Project and given the infrastructure present within 50km of the project area the Company believes the project is well placed to be fast tracked into production. The region around the project contains critical infrastructure such as:
- High voltage power lines and sub stations operated by the state provider ESKOM,
- Water resources including the recently completed De Hoop Dam 10km south of the project,
- Rail sidings and established links,
- Sealed roads around the project area,
- Mining service companies and support business in the immediate area,
- Skilled workforce within the local community and the region.
In addition the Steelpoortdrift Vanadium Project is advantageously located 160km away from Witbank (Emalahleni) where historical magnetite processing plants are located.
Infrastructure for Operations
The Concentrator Plant will use water from De Hoop Dam, with sufficient volumes readily available based on estimated usage.
The SRL site raw water will be obtained via a dedicated a dedicated raw water pipeline through an existing connection point with Kadoma (current owners of adjacent property / Steelpoort Industrial Park) which is connected to the Olifants River Water Management scheme on the Lebalelo Water User Association pipeline. Separately, Kadoma is planning to construct a water-treatment facility to serve the SRL site and existing mining operations in the area. This facility is expected to provide the SRL site with water resources at beneficial costs.
Power for the mining operations and concentrator will be sourced from a combination of a 5MW photo voltaic solar farm which will include a 1.0MW/4.0MWh vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) energy storage system and a connection to South Africa’s national power utility, ESKOM. To date, mine sites in South Africa have not been significantly impacted by the loadshedding issues as they are deemed critical infrastructure, meaning their power is not completely turned off but rather limited during loadshedding periods.
Power for the SRL plant and offices will be obtained from ESKOM. However, Kadoma and its holding company (Freedom Property Fund), plans to develop a utility scale PV plant next to the SRL site to provide green energy to the surrounding mines and the SRL site. The PV plant is expected to be constructed in a modular fashion with uniquely designed fixed-tilt ground mount structures and will be commissioned in modules of 2MWp each.
Further details on the planned infrastructure can be found in the DFS which was announced to the ASX on 4th October 2022.
ESKOM sub station, 12km from the Steelpoortdrift Vanadium Project
Rail siding at Steelpoort, 30km from Steelpoortdrift Vanadium Project.
The De Hoop Dam, 15km from the Steelpoortdrift Vanadium Project.
Mining and Processing Operations in the Eastern Bushveld.