Technology Metals Australia powering forward with MTMP to help meet global vanadium demand

Technology Metals Australia (ASX:TMT) will use the Brisbane Mining Investor Conference next week as a platform to engage with new and existing investors about the importance of vanadium in the clean energy sector.

Held on 22-23 March, Managing Director Ian Prentice says the aim of attending and presenting at the conference is to engage with both long-term investors and potential new investors as it advances its Murchison Technology Metals Project (MTMP) in Western Australia.

Speaking to Mining.com.au ahead of the event, Prentice says interest in vanadium as a battery mineral is definitely growing across international markets. This has been most evident in China, with many recent announcements showing deployment and commissioning of vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) energy storage installations and increasing capacity in production of vanadium electrolyte.

“Similarly, I think we will see growing demand coming out of Europe on the back of the EU Green Deal Industry Plan announced in February, which will support access to critical minerals such as vanadium through the Critical Raw Materials Act and encourage industrial manufacturing of key renewable energy technologies such as batteries via the Net-Zero Industry Act.”

Technology Metals Australia is emerging at the forefront to help meet growing global demand with its advancing MTMP. The company recently engaged GR Engineering Services (ASX:GNG) and mine site construction services company Iron Mine Contracting to progress the MTMP. The company says GR Engineering and Iron Mine Contracting will work alongside the key equipment supplier for the MTMP processing plant FLSmidth (CPH:FLS).

Prentice adds: One of the cornerstones of our company and project strategy is to attract and engage outstanding people in our own team and collaborate with highly experienced industry players who can complement and integrate with the existing team to advance the Murchison Technology Metals Project. We have had a strong partnership with FLSmidth since early 2018 with their involvement in the roast-leach testwork programs on MTMP feedstock through to the recent front-end engineering design (FEED) for the roasting kiln section of the processing plant.

 “One of the cornerstones of our company and project strategy is to attract and engage outstanding people … and collaborate with highly experienced industry players”

With the Letter of Interest received from EKF, the Danish export credit agency for up to $150m in finance support for FLSmidth equipment, this partnership is going from strength to strength as we move into detailed construction planning and schedule definition.”

The MD told this news service the engagement of GR Engineering Service and Iron Mine Contracting at this phase is also fundamental to the successful delivery of the MTMP – both companies are Western Australian-based with significant experience in the mineral processing and civil and mining services sectors, respectively.

“Their early input into detailed construction planning and schedule definition, and development and planning of site establishment activities alongside FLSmidth, will ensure that we are approaching the delivery of the MTMP systematically and efficiently, and streamlining and integrating workstreams and critical schedule interfaces.”

Meanwhile, Technology Metals Australia and LE System have produced ‘high-quality’ and ‘battery grade’ vanadium electrolyte using ‘high-purity’ feedstock from MTMP.

Prentice notes that in addition to China and Europe, India is also emerging as a renewable energy powerhouse, with the Minister of Finance of India, Nirmala Sitharaman announcing US$4.3 billion in investments towards the country’s energy transition, with government subsidies for battery energy storage projects. Vanadium is on India’s Critical Minerals List, especially for use towards renewable electricity generation and other green technologies.

“Therefore, with the MTMP’s capability in producing +99% purity vanadium pentoxide that can be processed into high-quality vanadium electrolyte, TMT is really at the forefront of meeting these growing global market demands in the renewable energy sector.

The battery market is projected to consume over 70% of vanadium supply by 2040, and given the MTMP’s plus 25 years mine life, the vanadium electrolyte produced from our value-adding downstream processing will be able to support this market.”

As with all technology companies, each company has its own intellectual property in terms of design, component specifications and manufacturing process. For Technology Metals Australia, this is no different with the major global vanadium redox flow battery manufacturers, whose different specifications for vanadium electrolyte may give them an edge in terms of the lifespan of the battery, or the energy storage density.

“What we need to do is ensure that our vanadium electrolyte specification can meet broad VRFB manufacturer requirements, and also investigate how we can continue to optimise the process so that across the feedstock grade at the MTMP, the specification of the vanadium can be consistently achieved.”

The Brisbane Mining Investor Conference is an investor event launched in 2018 that provides investors, brokers, and fund managers a better understanding of current investment opportunities in Australia’s mining, energy, and exploration sectors.

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.