Vanadium pentoxide is a powder form of the metal used in next-generation storage batteries and the steel industry.
The research and development (R&D) joint venture between Alexander, Multicom Resources and John Webster Innovations (JWI) has received approval from the government to extract a bulk sample from St Elmo Project to start test work.
In parallel, John Webster has also set-up a research and development (R&D) facility in Brisbane, Queensland, to perform the necessary studies.
Alexander Mining CEO Martin Rosser said: “We are very pleased with the progress of the R&D JV, which provides Alexander a significant opportunity potentially to use its expertise to disrupt conventional processing methodologies in the vanadium sector.
“If successful, this would provide exposure to this constricted supply, high-demand metal and its emerging applications across a number of new technologies.”
Initial results from the test work are expected in the next three to four months.
Apart from the sample provided to JWI and Alexander, Multicom will also be using its existing flow sheet to provide samples of vanadium pentoxide to its identified offtake partners in the steel industry and also its upstream battery partner, StorEn Technologies.
Multicom executive director and co-founder Nathan Cammerman said: “Compared to most vanadium deposits globally, which are usually hard-rock and require high vanadium grades to ensure project viability, our Saint Elmo Project is a sedimentary deposit.
“Unlike those hard-rock resources, limited drilling, crushing, blasting and grinding would be required prior to potential leaching. Our existing process flow sheet for the project is already proven, however, if the Alexander and JWI heap leaching test work proves successful, a sub $2 per pound operating cost may be achievable.”