Steelpoortdrift Vanadium Project
The Steelpoortdrift Vanadium Project is host to one of the world’s largest undeveloped Vanadium deposits with a Mineral Resource of 680Mt at an average in situ grade of 0.70% V2O5 (4.74Mt contained metal). The project has a Proved and Probable Reserve of 77Mt at an average in situ grade of 0.72% V2O5 (0.55Mt contained metal). This significant size provides for a 180+ year life of Mineral Resource, with 92 years of this available in the designed open pits within a low environmental and social impact inclusion zone.
Located in the prolific Bushveld Geological Complex and within a known mineral and Vanadium producing area, the Project uses proven technology and processes to produce Vanadium Pentoxide (V2O5) flake at an initial average rate of 10,700t per annum (Stage 2 average rate of 21,000tpa). Examples of similar processing plants, both operating and historical, can be found within a few hundred kilometres of the mine site and accordingly significant existing infrastructure is available in proximity to the Project.
Importantly the high grade, high quality nature of the vanadiferous titanomagnetite present at Steelpoortdrift produces a high-quality concentrate for downstream processing to produce value added specialist products suitable for the steel, renewable energy (VRFB battery) and industrial minerals markets. The concentrate contains approximately 2.1% V2O5, which is one of the highest concentrate grades available and assists in keeping operating costs low.
In October 2022, the Company completed a DFS confirming Steelpoortdrift as a world-class deposit with robust economics, providing an attributable post-tax NPV7.5% of US$0.9B, IRR of 42%, 27-month payback based on a pre-production capex of US$211M and over an initial 25-year mine life.
Having completed the DFS, the Company is working towards Final Investment Decision (with a Q4 CY2023 target) with a focus on building the project development and execution team, commencing the FEED studies, securing debt financing and partnering with strategic groups to ensure the maximum value of the project is unlocked.
Once in production, the Company will explore the full range of Vanadium products that are possible, including:
- Vertical integration opportunities into downstream markets through Vanadium Electrolyte, VRFB manufacturing and energy generation.
- Vanadium Trioxide, FerroVanadium, Titanium Dioxide and Ilmenite will also be explored to maximise the potential of the operation.
Further work is being completed to look at optimising the considerable amount of the 180+ year Resource not included in the DFS mine plan. This work is at a very early stage but is targeted to involve consideration of production rates, alternative opportunities and potential partnerships with downstream users for additional operations.