Second time’s the charm for Pursuit and its Swedish vanadium project
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Special Report: Pursuit Minerals told investors yesterday its recent re-sampling of historical drill holes at its Airijoki project showed that the vanadium mineralisation was ‘extremely’ thick and produced very high-grade vanadium in magnetite concentrates.
Pursuit (ASX:PUR) re-assayed intercepts from the historic drill holes in August, finding vanadium intersections of substantial thickness – up to 178 metres and grades ranging from 1.33 – 2.03% V2O5 in magnetite concentrates.
Vanadium grades above 2 percent in magnetite concentrate are considered world-class.
Pursuit also found that the magnetic anomaly associated with the vanadium mineralisation covers a larger area than first expected.
Rock chip samples from the surface indicate that high-grade vanadium mineralisation extends a further 3.5km northeast of the historical drill holes.
The company says it is now planning for drilling to start early next month, subject to approvals.
Pursuit was granted an exploration license for the Airijoki Project in April this year, gaining access to two of the area’s nine historical drill holes.
It’s just one part of Pursuit’s portfolio of world-class vanadium projects in Scandinavia.
Recently, Pursuit identified a major exploration target at its Koitelainen vanadium project in Finland. Its announced plans to complete a mineral resource estimate at the project and undertake a Scoping Study early in 2019.
And the timing couldn’t be better for Pursuit.
Vanadium prices are now at their highest point since 2005, busting through US$24/lb this week.
It’s the best performing battery metal in the past year and has rocketed over 300 per cent since January 2016 as demand for vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) continues to grow.
VRFBs have become the preferred alternative to lithium-ion batteries for renewable, long-duration energy storage because they are cheaper and have the longest life spans, lasting more than 20 years or up to 25,000 cycles.
Current demand is about 100,000 tonnes per annum, but that is tipped to triple over the next five to six years.
And with only three large scale primary vanadium producers globally – Bushveld Minerals, Glencore, and Largo Resources – the supply squeeze looks set to continue in the near term, even with planned expansions designed to increase annual production.
That’s good news for companies such as Pursuit.
Pursuit Minerals Managing Director Jeremy Read said Pursuit was in the right commodity in the right location at the right time, particularly with the vanadium price performing so well in the last 12 months.
“The results we have obtained from the Airijoki Project in northern Sweden and also Koitelainen in Finland, show that we have built a top-class portfolio of vanadium projects, which we are able to progress very cost effectively and quickly, due to the access we have to all the historical drill core.
“Re-sampling of the historical drill core is allowing us to move our projects forwards to defining JORC compliant mineral resources in the next few months and with resource defined we can make firm decision about how to advance our portfolio of projects and create value for shareholders.” Mr Read said.