Australian Vanadium Prepares For Electrolyte Processing Pilot Plant

Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) is expecting the arrival of its vanadium electrolyte pilot plant to the Perth within 10 days. The installation of the pilot vanadium electrolyte plant will enable AVL to develop unique vanadium electrolyte production expertise and capability within Australia. The company aims to develop both stand-alone and mine-attached vanadium electrolyte capacity to support the growing demand in the vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) sector. Their strategy is to deliver vanadium products such as batteries to end users and supply and process raw materials sourced from Gabanintha vanadium project in Western Australia. AVL recently sold and installed its first vanadium redox flow battery storage system

Background

AVL is advancing the development of its 100%-owned Gabanintha Vanadium project measuring 91.4 million tonnes at 0.82% vanadium. They also aim to develop a local production capacity for high-purity vanadium electrolyte, which forms a key component of vanadium redox flow batteries. The company is awaiting the delivery of a recently purchased vanadium electrolyte pilot plant from C-Tech Innovation Ltd., and are actively marketing vanadium redox flow batteries in Australia through a distribution agreement with world-leading flow battery manufacturer, GILDEMEISTER. AVL recently sold and installed its first vanadium redox flow battery storage system at a native tree nursery in Busselton, Western Australia.

Pilot Plant Details

The pilot plant will be used to test and verify the production of vanadium electrolyte products that are suitable and approved for use in VRFB systems being sold in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and Asia. The pilot plant will be installed at a Western Australian university, which provides a cost-effective solution. AVL has commenced sourcing low-cost, high quality vanadium pentoxide for quality testing purposes from a wide variety of global sources including Brazil, China and Africa. In the longer term the company aims to supply its own vanadium pentoxide from the high grade Gabanintha Project for use in the production of vanadium electrolyte.

Analysis

The arrival of the pilot plant is an important milestone in building towards AVL’s strategy to become a vertically integrated player in the vanadium market. Ideally AVL will supply the pilot plant with input from its Gabanintha Project and the output from the plant will be used for products such as VRFBs. Having recently sold its first VRFB through its distribution agreement with GILDEMEISTER, the processing pilot plant represents a key missing link in the supply chain. Furthermore, the university location represents an excellent opportunity for collaboration between the commercial and educational fields in this technology space. Ongoing discussions on the future sale and distribution of vanadium electrolyte continue with numerous VRFB manufacturers including GILDEMEISTER. Demand for electrolyte quality vanadium is rising and strongly supports the integration strategy adopted by AVL. AVL is expecting a resource update at its Gabanintha vanadium project in January to February, 2017. The stock is up 60% year to date, currently trading at $0.013.

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