Junior explorer Rumble Resources has stumbled across some high-grade vanadium in its hunt for zinc at its Braeside project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

Grab sampling near the Devon Cut prospect returned vanadium grading up to 3.29 per cent.

Meanwhile, a discovery hole drilled into the prospect intercepted 3m of vanadium anomalism from a depth of 53m.

Investors liked the news, driving Rumble (ASX:RTR) shares up 6 per cent to 5.6c on Thursday.

Vanadium’s main use is as an additive in high-strength steel, which accounts for about 92 per cent of global demand.

But the commodity has big potential in the energy storage market.

RTR shares over the last six months.
RTR shares over the last six months.

While lithium-ion batteries have taken the lion’s share of the energy storage market so far, according to resources expert Gavin Wendt, technological advances in vanadium redox flow batteries are bringing down costs and improving the safety and environmental profile.

Compared to lithium-ion batteries, vanadium redox flow batteries have estimated life-spans in excess of 10,000 cycles and maintain 90 per cent of their capacity over 20 years.

By comparison, getting 1000 cycles of use out of a lithium-ion battery with full depth of discharge would be ambitious, according to Mr Wendt.

Vanadium redox flow batteries are expected to take up about 30 per cent of battery storage capacity growth.

Rumble has also confirmed the Devon Cut prospect as a high-grade zinc discovery with a hit of 5m at 8 per cent, including 1m at 21 per cent from 34m.

The company has been contacted for comment.