Australia’s federal government gave ‘major project status’ to Australian Vanadium’s (ASX: AVL) namesake project located in the Murchison province and it also provided the Perth-based company with a A$74-million loan through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
“Vanadium is on the critical minerals list for Australia and the US, which means there is a market there for this globally significant resource,” the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, said in a media statement. “This project will have a significant impact on the Western Australian economy, especially the Meekatharra region with the creation of around 400 direct construction jobs and a further 200 ongoing jobs.
The granting of ‘major project status,’ which lasts for three years, provides formal recognition of the national strategic significance of the project. It also gives the miner a single point of contact for assistance with navigating the approval process and relevant government legislation. “This streamlined approach has the potential to result in accelerated approvals,” the company said in a press release.
The Australian Vanadium project consists of a high-grade V-Ti-Fe deposit located approximately 43 kilometres south of the mining town of Meekatharra in Western Australia and 740 kilometres north-east of Perth.
The property extends for 260 square kilometres and it has a total mineral resource of 183.6Mt at 0.76% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) consisting of a measured mineral resource of 10.2Mt at 1.11% V2O5, an indicated mineral resource of 40.7Mt at 0.66% V2O5, and an inferred mineral resource of 132.7Mt at 0.77% V2O5.
According to its owner, the mineral resource includes a distinct massive magnetite high-grade zone of 96.7 Mt at 1.00% V2O5.
The project is based on a proposed open-pit mine, crushing, milling and beneficiation plant and refining plant for final conversion and sale of high-quality vanadium pentoxide for use in steel, specialty alloys and energy storage markets. First production is expected in 2022.