Aug 22, 2017
A Colorado mining company said higher prices for vanadium, a mineral used in the production of steel as well as batteries, might see it restarting its vanadium production.
Vanadium is a byproduct of uranium mining, and Colorado is home to many uranium companies, including Western Uranium Corp.
Western Uranium officials said Tuesday that because of rising vanadium prices, as well as a projected worldwide shortage this year, it has “begun discussions on the economics of building a vanadium and ferro-vanadium processing plant.”
Company officials said the shortage is because the world’s steel makers are competing with vanadium redox battery makers for vanadium.
“The reason for the decrease in supply and increase in price of vanadium is the Chinese government forcing some factories and iron ore mines to curtail operations to reduce air pollution. Vanadium is a unique commodity market, as China is both the largest producer and consumer of vanadium. China accounts for about 45 percent of the world’s vanadium production while Russia and South Africa account for approximately another 30 percent of global vanadium production,” the company said in a statement.
In Colorado, Western Uranium has mining interests in western San Miguel County, Montrose County, and Fremont County.
Vanadium is named after the Scandinavian goddess of beauty and fertility, Vanadís.
Other Colorado uranium companies include Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE: UUUU), UR-Energy Inc. (NYSE: URG), and Uranium Resources Inc., which yesterday changed its name to Westwater Resources Inc. (Nasdaq: WWR) to reflect its increasing emphasis on lithium production.