According to the Government of Western Australia, China was the worlds largest producer of rare earths (71%), graphite (68%) and vanadium (54%) in 2018, and a major producer of all other battery minerals. Moreover, the global economic growth and increased intensity of use of vanadium in steel and emerging vanadium redox batteries (VRBs) is expected to drive near term growth in vanadium demand.
Western Australia, which accounts for the largest lithium production at the global level, also holds the 4th largest vanadium and manganese resources.
Surefire Resources NL (ASX: SRN) is a base metals focussed company that has ample exposure to this lucrative opportunity, owning exploration assets for vanadium in Western Australia. The company operates in the region seeking to target an extraordinary opportunity in base metal exploration while developing its projects.
SRNs vanadium exploration projects include Unaly Hill and Victory Bore (E57/1068 and E57/1036) in Western Australia, with licence areas located roughly 500km north of Perth Sandstone in the East Murchison Mineral Field of Western Australia and forming a 25km long contiguous tenement holding along strike of the Youanmi Shear zone.
Geological Composition of the Projects
Historical and Current Exploration Activities
SRN completed a drilling programme at the Unaly Hill project during the year ended 30 June 2019, intended to test additional magnetic anomalies identified along strike of the already established JORC Inferred resource of 86Mt @ 0.42% V2O5, with the below attributes:
Significant results from the drilling programme included:
The drilling shows that, in accordance with the aeromagnetic data, the mineralisation at Unaly Hill remains open for a considerable distance along strike from the previous drilling.
Recently, SRN intersected several vanadium-bearing magnetite units with significant intercepts at its Victory Bore Project.
To learn more about the other developments in the process of RC drilling, READ: Surefire Victory Bore RC Drill Results Out.
In addition, SRN evaluated and budgeted an in-fill drilling programme designed to delineate a JORC Indicated Resource within the current inferred resource at Unaly, while the planning for the advancement of the project to a scoping study is under pipeline.
To read more on the Detailed view of Surefires activities for the quarter ended 30 September 2019 , READ: SRN Quarterly Results, Eyeing Exploration Prospects.
Metallurgical Test work
SRN also completed a comprehensive metallurgical test work programme (developed and supervised by METS Engineering Group based in Perth) on the Unaly vandiferous magnetite core obtained from diamond drill hole UHDM001.
The metallurgical test work was dedicated on the salt roasting process, which is a frequently used procedure for processing the vanadiferous titanomagnetites to recover vanadium from the ore.
The test work looked at the effects of grind size on mineral liberation and magnetic separation and addressed the parameters of comminution and physical characterisation, mineralogy, magnetic beneficiation and salt roasting.
The advanced test work programme successfully achieved a 192% to 367% vanadium upgrade with V2O5 concentrate grades up to 1.43%, showing consistent vanadium grades and recoveries across the three mineralised zones tested.
SRN Vanadium Resources
The acquisition of the Victory Bore vanadium project in April 2019 significantly increased Surefires vanadium resource base and exploration potential, making it one of the largest vanadium resource holders in Australia. The combined Inferred Mineral Resource for SRN including Unaly Hill vanadium project and Victory Bore Vanadium Project was estimated at 237 Mt grading ~0.42- 44% V2O5 with a contained V2O5 content of 102,900 tonnes.
The magnetic anomalies within both licence areas have the potential for not only an increased resource tonnage but for larger zones of higher-grade vanadium mineralisation as well.
SRN had previously established a significant JORC vanadium resource at Unaly Hill from drilling 3km of magnetic anomaly corresponding with the cumulous magnetite layers within the intrusive.
View at Vanadiums Outlook
Rarely found metal, Vanadium has primary utility in the steel industry for metal alloys like high-speed tools, titanium alloys and aircraft. However, the rapidly developing energy storage (battery) sector has significant utility for vanadium with the expanding use and increasing penetration of the vanadium redox batteries (VRBs), which use the unique ability of vanadium to exist in solution in four different oxidation states to store energy.
The inclusion of Vanadium on the Australian Governments list of critical minerals in Australia validates the growing strategic importance of Vanadium to the Australian economy.
A reduction in global feedstock capacity on the supply side and the declining global inventories along with several other international uncertainties have caused the global vanadium price to rise. Having such positive prospects, SRN can be a significant player in the vanadium market, globally.
SRN stock traded at a price of $0.002 on 29 November 2019 (1:50 PM AEST) with a market capitalisation of $1.26 million.
This website is a service of Kalkine Media Pty. Ltd. A.C.N. 629 651 672. The website has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a complete source of information on any particular company. The above article is sponsored but NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold the stock of the company (or companies) under discussion. We are neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice through this platform.
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