Technology Metals Australia moving ahead of the vanadium pack with project fundamentals

Technology Metals Australia (ASX:TMT) is advancing towards bringing the world’s next large-scale primary vanadium mine online, with financing support and project construction partnerships in place.

Speaking to Mining.com.au ahead of her presentation on day 3 of the RIU Sydney Resources Round-up on 11 May 2023, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Elisha Civil says her messages to the RIU audience will encompass the company’s broader growth strategy.

Firstly, Civil tells this news service she will outline how the company’s Murchison Technology Metals Project (MTMP) in Western Australia has the most outstanding project fundamentals compared to its peers.

Our high-yielding, fresh, that is unoxidised ore, is key due to ease of processing with conventional processing techniques currently in use at operations around the world to obtain industry-leading recoveries – there is no need for unproven/new technology in the plant.

 “given vanadium supply is dominated by China, Russia, South Africa, and Brazil, aligned countries are looking at alternative supplies from a secure, friendly jurisdiction”

WA remains one of the top jurisdictions for mining investment at second place according to the Fraser Institute – given vanadium supply is dominated by China, Russia, South Africa, and Brazil, aligned countries are looking at alternative supplies from a secure, friendly jurisdiction.

TMT continues to collaborate with key stakeholders to progress environmental approvals, with the key focus being water stewardship, greenhouse gas emissions and heritage protection. We aim to make a long-term positive impact, so it is important to ensure things are done right from the start.”

The CFO adds that she will also disclose to the RIU audience that Technology Metals Australia is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the MTMP with a net zero emissions pathway being designed, involving solar farm installation coupled with battery storage. This also includes adoption of low carbon energy solutions for mine dewatering and other water supply activities, transition to electric or other non-carbon fuel options for the mining fleet, and incorporation of heat loss and capture strategies at the processing plant.

“Our project team will be working alongside our principal project delivery partners FLSmidth, GR Engineering, Iron Mine Contracting, APA Operations for the gas pipeline, and the Mid West Ports Authority for import and export logistics at Geraldton Port.”

Civil adds that importantly, her RIU presentation will reiterate the quality commercial partnerships the company has with Tata Steel and CNMNC on the steel side, and LE System and Delectrik on the battery side.

“VRFBs (Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries) are displacing lithium-ion batteries for long duration storage with low maintenance costs, long operational lifetimes, and low performance degradation – vanadium for VRFB use is expected to grow to 33% of global market by 2030 and 75% by 2040 eclipsing the current market share dominance of steel applications.

“Meanwhile, India is leading the growth in the steel market – huge spending on their transport infrastructure – 1.7% of GDP in 2023. Vanadium is the key alloying element for high speed rail tracks being laid all across India. Vanadium in steel consumption in India will increase from about 5,000tpa to 17,000tpa by 2030 to meet all the infrastructure demands.”

The CFO says amid that context, she will tell the conference that Technology Metals is continuing to work on commercial offtake to meet the global demands, adding that MTMP is the most advanced vanadium project in Australia to come online.

MTMP is a hard rock source of vanadium and while it has traditionally been mined in Brazil, South Africa, and China, Australia is poised to have its first new vanadium producing project with MTMP. Currently, some 78% of vanadium is sourced from China and Russia, which are not jurisdictions highly in favour among Western miners. This has created a ‘massive’ opportunity for Australia, which as mentioned currently has no production.

Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au

Images: Technology Metals Australia Ltd
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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.