Most of the pieces are falling into place for vanadium mining to start in North-West Queensland once all approvals are obtained according to one proponent.
Richmond Vanadium Technology is the 100 per cent owner of the Richmond – Julia Creek Vanadium Project, touted as one of the largest undeveloped oxide vanadium resources in the world, with a mineral resource of 1.8Bt at 0.36 per cent for 6.7Mt vanadium pentoxide, and an Ore Reserve of 459.2Mt at 0.49 per cent for 2.25Mt vanadium pentoxide.
The company’s leases are north and west of the town of Richmond.
Richmond Vanadium Technology is one of six exploration companies planning to mine vanadium for use in redox flow batteries which are able to hold the charge from large capacity generators including wind and solar farms.
It was a high-risk, high-return proposition and key stakeholders were combining for a common outcome said managing Director Dr Shaun Ren.
“We need to maintain that constant support, from government, the local community as well as other vanadium explorers and developers,” Dr Ren said.
“I think the awareness of critical minerals and the part they play in energy transition is in the blood of almost the whole community now.
“Everybody knows that’s the direction we need to go which forms a sound foundation to align our efforts together.
“Queensland government support for critical minerals is fantastic – the government and their various regulatory authorities are doing their job. When industry and government work together, when we collaborate, we find the best solutions.”
There were still issues of infrastructure development which needed to be addressed said Dr Ren.
“RVT’s next challenge is similar to other resource companies, power and water,” he said. “Mainly water allocation.”
“Then we look to assess input materials, such as acid supply, and marketing and offtake agreements for the vanadium products.
“Our ultimate aim is to produce battery grade vanadium to support downstream vanadium opportunities and enable a mine to metal to battery solution in Queensland.”
Richmond Vanadium Technology recently announced it was investing $3 million in an alliance with Perth-based Ultra Power Systems (UPS) to advance its north west Queensland vanadium mine along with vanadium redox flow battery manufacturing.
The deal means Richmond Vanadium Technology will take a 10.94 stake in UPS and become its preferred vanadium pentoxide supplier.
UPS chairman and chief executive officer Brad Appleyard at the time said reliable battery-grade vanadium supply was of critical importance as the company scales up VRFB production in Australia and overseas.
“With RVT’s very large ore reserve and proven processing flow sheet, UPS has potentially secured vanadium pentoxide supply for many decades to come,” he said.
“RVT and UPS are strategically aligned in pursuing the development of the energy technology market and we believe we are well placed as Australia’s first manufacturer of VRFBs to take full advantage of the exciting opportunities and developments ahead of us.”