Battery metals like lithium and cobalt as well as graphite and vanadium are vital to the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric autos, with need expected to increase in the coming years. As the green power revolution continues to unfold, car makers are becoming more concerned with the requirement to protect these raw materials in order to complete their ambitious electrification objectives.
Everyone has hear about lithium and a lot of juniors jumped onto the lithium bandwagon last year. Just a quick look at their stock prices will tell you that that buying into the rage last year wasn’t such a great idea. Some of the Nevada juniors like Cypress Minerals TSX;V-CYP, Neo lithium TSX:V-NLC have held up OK but the rest it seems have lost a lot of value.
One of the lesser followed commodities in batteries is Vanadium. The past couple of years in battery developement have actually brought renewed rate of interest in vanadium. Experts anticipate that the battery metal, which is made use of mainly as an alloy in steel manufacturing, will certainly see an uptick in demand thanks to its enhanced use in the power storage space industry.
The meteoric rise of the silvery-gray steel has stimulated the passion of experts and capitalists who see the value in a battery steel that is safer, longer-lasting as well as a lot more durable than lithium.
There’s not a lot of vanadium miners out there to chose from. Most juniors will come across vanadium as a by product from another commodity they may be mining. However there are a few that focus on exploring for vanadium. One such company is Vanadium One TSX-V: VONE Vanadium One has the Mont Sorcier Iron ore property hosts a large high quality Iron resource with significant and extractable Vanadium. The Mont Sorcier Iron-Vanadium deposit is located just 18 km outside of Chibougamau, Quebec.
The deposit which is a higher grade iron ore deposit consists of a North and South deposit and with a low Titanium content, allowing for simple extraction of the Vanadium metal by a blast furnace. Mont Sorcier boasts an impressive 113.5 Mt Indicated and 520.6 Mt Inferred with the potential for expansion along strike, where the deposit’s magnetic anomaly continues, and at depth. Over 7,000 m of drilling at 32 holes by Vanadium One Iron in both the North and South Zone between July 2017 and December 2018 have revealed wide downhole iron ore intersections as long as 214 meters.
The company this year entered into a long-term arrangement with a wholly owned subsidiary of mining giant Glencore, to support the development of the Mont Sorcier Iron and Vanadium project. The parties have entered into a financing agreement and a separate concentrate offtake agreement to support the ongoing development and the eventual construction and production of the Mont Sorcier iron and vanadium project.
In early June the company announce they had raised 6.9 million dollars in May and had commenced a drill program at Mont Sorcier. This would be in fill drilling with a goal to upgrade sufficient inferred Mineral Resources to the Measured and Indicated Categories to support at least a 20-year mine life. This will be part of a feasibility study to begin later this year or early 2022.
A couple of other companies that are in the exploration and extraction of vanadium are Energy Fuels TSX: EFR and Largo Resources TSX: LGO. Energy Fuels is big in uranium. Energy Fuels is also a major U.S. producer of vanadium and an emerging player in the commercial rare earth business in the USA while Largo has a high grade vanadium deposit at the Maracas Menchen Mine located in Brazil.
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Disclosure: The author of this article does not own any shares in any of the above mentioned companies at the time of writing