Project scoping studies show “substantial potential returns” for Pursuit shareholders
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Special Report: Pursuit Minerals has moved quickly since first unveiling its vanadium strategy in 2018.
Now, just over a year later, Pursuit (ASX:PUR) has released “financially robust” scoping studies for its Airijoki Project in Sweden and its Koitelainen Project in Finland.
A scoping study is the first proper look at whether a resource can be mined economically – and the results for Pursuit look very good.
Pursuit’s cost-effective production strategy involves producing high-grade vanadium magnetite concentrates from both projects, and then selling those concentrates to global markets.
By selling a concentrate, rather than immediately constructing a plant to produce V2O5 flake, Pursuit can significantly reduce costs, simplify funding requirements, generate earlier cashflows and build its company balance sheet.
The projects also have the potential to deliver strong project returns – based on a range of commodity prices and processing scenarios.
It’s excellent news for Pursuit shareholders and a major milestone as the company heads toward production.
Airijoki will be the initial focus, says Pursuit Managing Director Jeremy Read.
“With the Airijoki project in Sweden we are now confident that we have a project with the potential to generate strong returns based on reasonable assumptions of long-term vanadium prices and cost inputs, as well as conservative capital costs,” Mr Read says.
“Airijoki is clearly a project with excellent fundamentals.
”It is a relatively high-grade deposit, has the potential to be mineable with a low strip ratio, has excellent access to services and infrastructure in a first-class mining jurisdiction and with easy access to global markets.”
Once Phase One is up and running, Pursuit may move towards Phase Two development of a centralised downstream processing facility to produce V2O5 flake.
This presents further upside for Pursuit shareholders.
“We are delighted with the rapid progress we are making, and the results of the Scoping Studies give us great confidence in the potential for the projects to generate excellent shareholder returns,” Mr Read says.
Pursuit is now looking to complete metallurgical test work in May, which will allow the company to initiate discussions with potential offtake partners.
A September drilling program will also upgrade the Airijoki mineral resource to JORC Indicated and Measured status in order to underpin the upcoming Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).
The company is considering potential strategic partners to undertake the Definitive Feasibility Study on the Airijoki project and move both projects through to their next stages of development.
For investors, it’s important to see a company regularly ticking off key milestones on the way to first production and profitability.
And Pursuit has been doing exactly that.
In the March quarter, the company made excellent progress on the development of Koitelainen Vosa and Airijoki, including defining maiden Inferred Mineral Resources – which provided the basis for the just completed Scoping Studies.
In February, the company defined a 116.4 million tonne resource at Koitelainen Vosa, comprising 5.8 million tonnes of magnetite grading 2.3 per cent V2O5 in magnetite concentrate.
This is world-class. Only the Maracas vanadium mine in Brazil produces a higher-grade vanadium magnetite concentrate.
This was followed by a 5.9 million tonnes resource for Airijoki, grading 1.7 per cent V2O5 in magnetite concentrate. Anything above 1.5 per cent is considered high-grade.
This was based on a 13.3 per cent mass recovery of magnetite concentrate, but since then, metallurgical test work has boosted this to 22.2 per cent.
This is significant improvement which could positively impact project economics.
As promised, the company continues to make rapid progress on developing these projects, Pursuit managing director Jeremy Read says.
“The company is clearly emerging as a potentially significant vanadium producer, with large, high grade projects situated in highly desirable jurisdictions, close to infrastructure and services.
“We have delivered the milestones we promised the market in accordance with our announced timetable and we are reinforcing our reputation as a company that achieves results.”