Australian Vanadium managing director Vincent Algar has stated at a conference in Hong Kong that vanadium needs a figure like Elon Musk of Tesla to boost investment in the metal.
Algar, a geologist with over 25 years of experience in the Australian and South African mining industry, made the comments during an interview at the event.
The company’s presentation at last week’s conference focused on its potential as an operator to fast-track vanadium production into the mainstream with a particular focus on its Gabanintha deposit in the Murchison region of Western Australia.
The Gabanintha project includes measured, indicated and inferred vanadium mineral resources of 10.2 million tonnes (Mt) at 1.06 per cent, 4.8Mt at 1.04 per cent and 77.8Mt at 0.94 per cent respectively, with total mineral resource of 179.6Mt at 0.75 per cent overall. The company hopes to produce about 5–6 per cent of the global market share in vanadium once the project enters (tentative) production in 2021.
Vanadium’s most common application is currently as a component for steelmaking but it also holds strong potential as a component for green battery production. Vanadium batteries can last longer and be charged more repeatedly without wear than their dominant lithium-ion counterparts.
“Trying to sell a vanadium-flow battery to someone who only can think of lithium, who only thinks there’s a lithium battery out there to solve the world’s problems, is very difficult,” said Algar.