Mount Burgess Mining has uncovered shallow vanadium at its Kihabe deposit in Botswana, where it has been looking for zinc, lead and silver.

The news excited investors — the shares (ASX:MTB) doubled to 1.4c on Friday morning before closing the day at 1.2c — up 71 per cent.

Vanadium is gaining traction with investors for its potential as a long-term energy storage solution.

The commodity is mainly used to produce high-strength steel, but future demand stems from its role in vanadium redox flow batteries, which can store more power and discharge it over a much longer period than lithium-ion batteries.

China, South Africa and Russia are the world’s main producers of vanadium, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Mount Burgess has been aware for some time that it has put its foot on vanadium, but it’s only now it has been able to confirm that it has “significant intersections and zones of vanadium mineralisation” at its Kihabe deposit.

MTB shares over the past three months.
MTB shares over the past three months.

Intermittent zones of up to 43m of vanadium mineralisation occur from depths of just 8m below surface, where grades of up to 2,718 parts per million, or 0.27 per cent, have been recorded over 10m intersections from 9m down-hole.

One of the vanadium-rich zones covers a strike length of 200m, Mount Burgess told investors.

“We’ve been cautious about saying anything about vanadium because we didn’t quite know whether it was going to be accurate or not, but now that we’ve done this diamond core drilling that we did back in November/December last year, it’s confirming what we’re now expecting,” chairman and managing director Nigel Forrester told Stockhead.

“We’ve got to now look at what’s going on to the southwest and what’s going on to the northeast, because we’ve had some previous good results from all of those areas.”

The vanadium mineralisation has the potential to add “significant credit to the project metrics”, Mount Burgess noted.

Geological modelling is now underway to assess the grade and continuity of the four vanadium zones.

Mount Burgess is also conducting metallurgical test work to determine the recoverability of vanadium from the Kihabe deposit.