Pursuit eyes potential early cash flows with new thick, high-grade vanadium resource in Sweden
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Special Report: Pursuit Minerals has ticked another box in its bid to become a low-cost vanadium producer – having now defined a maiden high-grade resource for its Airijoki project in Sweden.
Notably, this new resource provides Pursuit with the option of potentially maximising early cash flows, which is something the company will consider in its current scoping study.
The initial inferred resource stands at 44.3 million tonnes, containing 5.9 million tonnes of magnetite at 1.7 per cent vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) (in magnetite concentrate), for 100,800 tonnes of V2O5 based on 13.3 per cent mass recovery of magnetite concentrate.
Mineral resources are categorised in order of increasing geological confidence as inferred, indicated or measured.
Managing director Jeremy Read said the definition of the inferred resource at Airijoki, along with the inferred resource at the Koitelainen Vosa prospect announced in February, meant Pursuit had quickly built an impressive inventory of vanadium resources, allowing the company to accelerate scoping studies for both Airijoki and Koitelainen.
“We started work on the Airijoki project last August, flying a heli-magnetic survey, undertook a drill program in November-December 2018 and now we have defined a substantial initial inferred mineral resource.
“The Airijoki project is moving along very quickly and extremely successfully.”
The resource comprises four zones – with the first three hosting the thickest and highest-grade vanadium.
These three zones host a resource of 22.3 million tonnes, containing 3.2 million tonnes of magnetite at 1.9 per cent V2O5 (in magnetite concentrate), for 83,300 tonnes of V2O5 based on 14.5 per cent mass recovery of magnetite concentrate.
Pursuit says the Southwest Magnetic Zone — which comprises zones 1, 2 and 3 — includes exceptional thicknesses of vanadium mineralisation, producing high-grade vanadium magnetite concentrates.
“The Southwest Magnetic Zone at Airijoki has mineralisation over 200m thick, producing high-grade vanadium magnetite concentrates and both these qualities should allow early cash flows to be maximised,” Mr Read said.
“The scoping study, which is currently underway, will be examining ways to optimise the project’s value.”
Pursuit expects to release the results of the scoping study for the Airijoki project in April.
Pursuit is looking to be in production much faster and more cheaply than some of its competitors to take advantage of the strengthening vanadium price.
Right now, Chinese buyers are willing to pay more for ferro-vanadium as Pursuit mulls its options for selling its high-grade vanadium magnetite concentrate from its fast progressing projects in Sweden and Finland.
A buoyant domestic market has reversed the downward trend of the Chinese vanadium price, which has gained 6.5 per cent since mid-January.
Meanwhile, the price in Europe has remained relatively steady since early January.
Ferro-vanadium is used to strengthen steel.
Both vanadium magnetite concentrate and vanadium pentoxide flake can be used to make ferro-vanadium, but vanadium pentoxide flake is also used in batteries for energy storage and requires a more complicated and expensive process to refine it ready for use in batteries.