VR8 wants to be world-beater. What better place to start than on top of a world-beating resource?
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Special Report: Grade, location, size, and a management team of experienced mine builders – all these things (and more) make Vanadium Resources’ advanced Steelpoortdrift project in South Africa a genuine global standout.
Prices are rallying strongly, but a successful vanadium project must still be exceptional in more ways than one.
This chart shows how the size and grade of Vanadium Resources’ (ASX:VR8) Steelpoortdrift project – both in situ and concentrate – compares to some of its peers:
It’s a blowout.
Steelpoortdrift has largest and highest grade (in-situ) resources within the globally significant Bushveld Complex, and at 169 million tonnes, the largest high-grade resource above 1 per cent V2O5 in the world. If it’s not obvious by now, that’s exceptional.
Testing has also produced a high quality, low impurity +2 per cent V2O5 concentrate using simple beneficiation processes.
And the orebody itself outcrops at surface and dips shallowly, making it ideal for a very low cost, open pit mining operation.
Let’s talk about location
Steelpoortdrift is on a granted mining lease in the renowned Bushveld Complex, where producers like Glencore and Bushveld mine some of the world’s richest, highest grade vanadium deposits.
Steelpoortdrift contains exactly the same mineralisation type as the nearby Bushveld and Glencore operations, VR8 managing director Bill Oliver says.
“This is very consistent, very well studied and well understood mineralisation which has successfully been mined for a number for years,” he says.
“And there’s more to be mined. It is a genuine global vanadium production hub, a great place to build a new mine as there aren’t the same hurdles that more greenfields sites must overcome.”
Oliver is talking about the wealth of publicly accessible infrastructure in a region he calls the “Kalgoorlie of South Africa”.
“There’s grid power running past Steelpoortdrift, a new water dam 20km down the road, plus sealed roads and rail leading to active deep water ports,” Oliver says.
“There’s also an established mining services industry and the skilled workforce that comes with that.
“These are the things we need for a mining operation, and they are already well established.”
As well as the granted mining licence, which is crucial, Oliver says.
Experienced mine builders
New directors Nico van der Hoven and Jurie Wessels know what it takes to build and operate mines in South Africa.
Van der Hoven, who has co-founded and operated five mines over the last 29 years, is a guy with real experience, Oliver says.
“He’s actually involved with an active mining operation right now, which is freightingproduct to port and shippingit to China as we speak,” he says.
“It’s a real value add to the board.”
Fellow director Jurie Wessels also has 23 years’ experience in the mineral exploration.
“Having beenon boards in both Australia and the UK, Jurie is very experienced at developing projects across Africa and developing companies,” Oliver says.
Steelpoortdrift is a large, high grade project in a fantastic location, with people on board who know how to get mining operations up and running successfully.
And VR8 is intent on becoming the next globally significant vanadium miner.
Right now, studies are underway to verify a clear pathway to a range of production options – all the way through to full V2O5 production.
“It’s going to get moving very quickly,” Oliver says.