QEM has concluded drilling which tested 12 new locations to build on the sound knowledge gained in previous drilling at its Julia Creek vanadium project in Queensland.

The 12 holes in the north of the company’s tenement were drilled to a target depth of up to 80m with the program focusing on resource exploration, groundwater bore installation, and geotechnical analysis.

Additionally, two of the 12 exploration holes have now been converted to groundwater monitoring bores while another four were used for geotechnical analysis.

QEM (ASX:QEM) also collected overburden and core samples from a range of holes to allow for waste characterisation analysis to begin while fresh core samples were collected for further pilot plant testing and metallurgical test work at its pilot plant at HRL Labs in Victoria.

Managing director Gavin Loyden said the successful and timely completion of the drill ahead of a JORC resource update later this year was pleasing.

“The 2023 campaign, as with every drilling campaign on our tenement, was a great opportunity to work with our landholders who we engage to prepare the land and tracks required for the drillers,” he added.

“Our focus now is completing the latest Scoping Study this quarter and providing an update on the renewable power project.”

The Scoping Study will include a mine schedule, pit optimisation and flowsheet.

Julia Creek project

The 249.6km2 Julia Creek project currently has a resource of 2,850Mt grading 0.31% vanadium pentoxide, with 360Mt in the higher confidence Indicated category as well as a best estimate (2C) Contingent Resource of 79 million barrels of oil contained within its shales.

Vanadium is classed as a critical mineral – with priority for development and investment – by the Australian Government due to its use in vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) that are expected to play a significant role in the transition to renewable energy.

VRFBs use vanadium-ions in the electrolyte solutions and are considered safer, more scalable, and longer lasting than their lithium-ion counterparts with a lifespan of more than 20 years.

The metal is also used to improve the tensile strength, reduce weight and improve weather resistance of steel.

Separately, it has shortlisted three non-binding indicative bids for its plan to use renewable power at the project and secured a second stream of vanadium-rich waste for conversion into battery-grade vanadium pentoxide under an agreement with Incitec Pivot.

QEM also participated in Resources Roadhouse’s annual Steak Sandwich Showdown earlier this week at the Kalgoorlie Hotel where it presented a five-minute promotional pitch to 150 attendees.

This article was developed in collaboration with QEM, 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.