Okpai has uncovered proof there’s more than just uranium at its Rattler project in Utah with rock chip sampling returning exceptional vanadium oxide values up to 12.5%.

All told, 18 of the 28 samples collected at the Rattlesnake and Sunnyside prospects by the company reported values greater than 0.5% V2O5.

Okapi Resources (ASX:OKR) had decided to assay the samples for vanadium after 15 of the same samples returned uranium values of more than 1,000ppm (0.1%) uranium and considering that vanadium has been a valuable by-product credit in the La Sal Mining District.

“The vanadium assay results continue to confirm the high-grade nature of the mineralisation at the company’s Rattler uranium project with numerous assays across both Rattlesnake and Sunnyside showing exceptional high-grade uranium and vanadium,” managing director Andrew Ferrier said.

“The company has already received a permit to drill at Rattler and is keen to follow up these excellent results with further drilling.

“Vanadium is an important metal being on the US Government’s list of Critical Minerals. Vanadium is primarily used in high-strength steel production which is needed in defence and aerospace applications and has a growing importance in greener technologies such as batteries.”

Valuable by-product

Vanadium from the carnotite ores of the western US, and specifically those in Colorado and Utah, has been produced as a by-product of uranium extraction.

This ore is treated with sulphuric acid to dissolve the uranium and vanadium, which is then separated from the solution by liquid ion-ion exchange that removes the uranium and leaves vanadium in solution.

The remaining solution is then oxidised with soda ash and vanadium polyvanadate is precipitated using ammonium sulphate.

Rattler project

Rattler is located within the La Sal Mining District that produced about 6.4Mlb U3O8 at an average grade of 3,200ppm U3O8 and approximately 29Mlb V2O5 at an average grade of 14,600ppm V2O5 up to 1991.

More recently, Denison Mines and Energy Fuels Resources Corporation reported production between 2006 and 2012 of about 1.69Mlb U3O8 at an average grade of 2,000ppm U3O8 and 8.43Mlb V2O5 at an average grade of 10,200ppm V2O5.

Rattler comprises 98 BLM unpatented Federal mining claims and includes the historical Rattlesnake Mine that produced 1.6Mlb of U3O8 and 4.5Mlb of V2O5.

Approval has already been received for a 100-hole reverse circulation program that will search for mineralisation in and around Rattlesnake.


This article was developed in collaboration with Okapi Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.