The WA battery metal party continues as vanadium mines come to life

Date: Jan 24, 2019

WA’s ability to power the world will be bolstered over the coming years as several vanadium projects whir to life and thousands of jobs are created on the back of booming prices.

Vanadium is shaping up to be critical component in future energy storage but currently 90 per cent of the metal dug up is used to strengthen steel bars for construction.

Australian Vanadium managing director Vincent Algar.
Australian Vanadium managing director Vincent Algar.

The price for vanadium pentoxide exploded in China in 2018 to nearly US$35 a pound on the back of new Chinese construction regulations aimed at stamping out inferior steel.

It has since stabilised at US$16.10 a pound, well above the decade average.

Metals and minerals consultancy Roskill believe global vanadium supply remains tight following the closure of a major South African producer.

The combination of Chinese regulations and promise of vanadium redox flow batteries as energy storage solutions has the industry in WA excited and several major projects in the state’s mid-west are on the boil.

In 2018 Atlantic signalled its intention to sink $127 million into restarting the mothballed Windimurra vanadium mine while Technology Metals Australia (ASX: TMT) last year unveiled plans for a $380 million vanadium mine in Gabanintha, 20 kilometres south of Meekatharra.

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