Vanadium

Major Producers (click for link)
Bushveld Minerals
HighPower Exploration
BBI Group (Balla Balla Vanadium-Titanium-Magnetite)
Vametco (Strategic Minerals Corporation)
Largo Resources

Industry Highlights: Vanadium Market Report (USGS)
https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/vanadium/mcs-2017-vanad.pdf

In 2016, six U.S. firms that compose most of the domestic vanadium industry produced ferrovanadium, vanadium pentoxide, vanadium metal, and vanadium-bearing chemicals or specialty alloys by processing materials such as petroleum residues, spent catalysts, utility ash, and vanadium-bearing pig iron slag. In 2009–13, small quantities of vanadium were produced as a byproduct from the mining of uraniferous sandstones on the Colorado Plateau. All byproduct vanadium production has been suspended since 2014. Metallurgical use, primarily as an alloying agent for iron and steel, accounted for about 94% of the domestic vanadium consumption in 2016. Of the other uses for vanadium, the major nonmetallurgical use was in catalysts for the production of maleic anhydride and sulfuric acid.

Vanadium outlook 2018: Battery excitement

Vanadium is used to produce high-strength steel and chemical catalysts, but much future demand excitement stems from its role in vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs).

“We think there’s a revolution coming in vanadium redox flow batteries,” Robert Friedland told the Northern Miner in an April interview. Among his other high-profile pursuits, Friedland is CEO of HighPower Exploration, a private firm with a controlling interest in Beijing-based Pu Neng, which has invested about $90 million in VRFB systems.
In November, Pu Neng was awarded a contract to build “the largest vanadium flow battery in China.” The project is part of the country’s efforts to move away from coal-fired power plants towards renewable energy sources in order to reduce emissions and improve air quality.
In fact, the China National Development and Reform Commission released a policy document on the issue in late September called “Guidance on the Promotion of Energy Storage Technology and Industry Development.” The document calls for the launch of pilot projects such as multiple 100-MW-scale vanadium flow batteries by the end of 2020.
The goal is to have larger-scale deployment over the ensuing five years. Friedland said the policy, “will result in vanadium flow batteries revolutionizing modern electricity grids in the way that lithium-ion batteries are enabling the global transition to electric vehicles.”
Roskill’s Bedder said, “VRFBs have reached a stage of larger-scale commercialization, as demonstrated by Rongke Power’s Dalian project. While the technology is becoming increasingly mature, it remains highly price sensitive and may struggle to compete with lithium-ion technology.”
In terms of how quickly VFRBs may gain more of the spotlight, Bushveld Minerals (LSE:BMN) notes in a December presentation that VRFBs could account for up to 20 percent of vanadium consumption by 2030.

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