JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals and its partner Yellow Dragon Holdings have started a multiphased expansion at the newly acquired Vametco Alloys operation, near Brits, on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex, to increase production to more than 5 000 t/y of vanadium over the next three years.

Bushveld Minerals holds a 45% interest in Bushveld Vametco, which holds a 78.8% interest in Strategic Minerals Corporation, the ultimate holding company of Vametco. Bushveld Minerals is entitled to a 35% share in Vametco’s financials.

Vametco currently has capacity to produce about 3 000 t of vanadium in the form of Nitrovan – a vanadium product used in the steel industry – and modified vanadium oxide.

In the six months to June 30, the operation produced 1 441 t of vanadium – similar to what was produced in the first half of 2016.

Vametco achieved earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of R85.5-million in the first half of this year.

“Vametco is a significant vanadium producer, with extremely competitive production costs, that is now undergoing an expansion initiative to deliver increasing volumes into a structurally deficit supply market.

“We are extremely pleased to have concluded the Vametco acquisition at the time we did. With more than 100 years of combined industry experience within the Vametco senior leadership team, we are very excited about the future prospects of this investment. We look forward to continuing to work with management in further driving down operating costs, plus delivering on its expansion initiatives,” Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo commented this week. 

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