Aura Energy has identified a new high-grade vanadium zone close to surface at its wholly-owned Häggån battery metals project in Sweden.

The zone was identified after the company conducted an orebody modelling study, during which it also conducted a new resource estimate. The global resource of vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) is now considered to be 15.1 billion pounds.

According to the company, the orebody modelling was designed to evaluate the potential for higher grade vanadium zones in the Häggån deposit.

“This newly defined high-grade zone provides an excellent location to start an open pit, which will result in the rare event of mining the best ore grades.”

The modelling defined a high-grade Vanadium zone of 90 million tonnes at 0.42% V2O5.

Aura Energy executive chairman Peter Reeve said: “The discovery that a large high-grade vanadium zone exists close to surface in the Häggån deposit provides a significant boost to the economics of this battery metals project.

“Clearly, this newly defined high-grade zone provides an excellent location to start an open pit, which will result in the rare event of mining the best ore grades from the very start of the project.”

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Within the zone, the majority of the mineralisation, a total of 49 million tonnes, begins at 20m below surface and extends to a depth of 100m.

Alongside vanadium, the Häggån deposit contains significant levels of nickel, zinc, molybdenum and other battery metals.

The update in the vanadium resources at the deposit comes in the wake of an increase in the price of vanadium and a resulting shift in the focus of the project.

The company noted that the high-grade zone extends around 1km in both north-south and east-west directions.

Reeve added: “To put this in context, if Häggån were to produce approximately 5% of the current global vanadium production, we would be able to mine this high-grade pod for around 20 years, from resource blocks containing over 0.4% V2O5.”