Vametco Holdings holds 100% of the operating company Vametco Alloys (Proprietary) Limited (“Vametco”). Vametco is an integrated mining and processing plant situated 8km to the north-east of Brits in the North West Province of the Republic of South Africa.
Vametco owns the new order minerals rights for vanadium and other associated minerals over Portion 1 of the farm Uitvalgrond 431 JQ and Portion 1 of the farm Krokodilkraal 426 JQ in Brits. Vametco operates an open pit mine supplying ore to its vanadium processing plant located on the same properties. The processing plant at Vametco is fed ore from the co-located Vametco mine.
The Vametco mine is an open pit mine along a 3.5km strike running west to east and dipping at between 14° and 20° in a northerly direction. The mineral resource is estimated to be 142Mt (JORC) with average grades of 1.96% V2O5 in magnetite. This includes ore reserves of 26Mt (JORC) which have been shown to have some of the highest in-magnetite vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) grades in the world, averaging 1.96% V2O5 in magnetite. Nitrovan® Vametco’s trademark vanadium nitride product, is sold globally to steel mills where it is used as a micro-alloying additive to strengthen steel.
Nitrovan® consists of vanadium and nitrogen, which provides more efficient strengthening of steel than ferrovanadium, resulting in reduced usage of up to 40% less vanadium in some steel. By replacing ferrovanadium with Nitrovan®, steelmakers can achieve high strengths more efficiently and at lower costs.
Vametco operates an open pit mine supplying ore to its vanadium processing plant located on the same properties. The open pit mine is approximately 3.5 kilometres long in a west-east direction. The ore body is well defined, continuous and dips in a northerly direction at approximately 19 degrees. The mine is based on a JORC resource of 142.4 Mt , including 26.12 Mt reserves with in-magnetite vanadium grades averaging 1.96 per cent V205.
Vametco employs the standard salt roast and leach process to produce a trademark vanadium carbon nitride (VCN) product called Nitrovan®.
The process comprises the following stages:
- STEP 1: Crushing, Milling and Magnetic Separation to produce a magnetite concentrate with average grades of approximately 2.0% V2O5;
- STEP 2: Salt roasting of concentrate involving roasting of the concentrate with sodium salts in a kiln at approximately 1,200 oC to form a water soluble sodium vanadate material;
- STEP 3: Leaching and purification involving dissolution of roasted vanadium concentrate in water, purification and precipitation of vanadium through the addition of ammonium sulphate followed by drying and rotary calcining in a reducing environment to produce a modified vanadium oxide product;
- STEP 4: Nitrovan® production – the modified vanadium oxide is briquetted and fed into an induction shaft furnace under a nitrogen atmosphere to produce Nitrovan®.
Bushveld Vametco Results
The Vametco management combines more than 100 years of management experience in primary vanadium mining and processing. Among them, they bring experience from every primary vanadium mining and processing operation in South Africa. They are:
Malcolm Curror (Chem. Eng)
Chief Executive Officer
- CEO of Vametco since April 2011;
- Formerly General Works Manager for Xstrata Vanadium’s Rhovan Integrated Vanadium Operations in SA, a position held since mid-2005;
- Malcolm previously held a range of senior management positions with Xstrata SA from Production Manager to Operations Manager at Rhovan, Vantech and Lydenburg Operations, from 1995;
- Now President of Vanitec for second term running;
- Over 22 years experience in the primary vanadium mining and processing industry.
Lyndon Williams (Met. Eng)
Chief Operations Officer
- Previously Vametco General Manager until promotion to COO role in 2015;
- Has held a range of roles with Highveld Steel & Vanadium including Metallurgist, Superintendent Vantra, Assistant Manager Steel Plant, Manager Vanchem, Manager Steelmaking, Manager Ironmaking, Works Manager Steel and Vanadium, and global Vanadium sales and marketing;
- Is a qualified Metallurgical Engineer;
- Over 35 years experience in the extraction of vanadium as well as vanadium slag production and processing.
Tania Mostert (Cert. Acc.)
Chief Financial Officer
- CFO since April 2011 with overall responsibility for Financial & Management Accounting and Procurement;
- Worked within the Financial and Internal Audit Functions of Highveld Steel & Vanadium;
- Various roles previously held at Highveld Steel & Vanadium include Senior Internal Auditor, Section Manager Management Accounting and Unit Manager Financial Accountant;
- Is a Certified Professional Accountant;
- Over 21 years experience in Management and Financial Accounting.
William Steinberg (M Eng Metallurgy)
- Works manager since March 2012;
- Formerly Manager for Iron Plant 2 at Highveld Steel & Vanadium;
- Prior positions at Highveld Steel & Vanadium include Project Manager Furnace 7 rebuild, Iron Making Technologist, Production Manager Iron making, Shift Manager Steel Making, EIT Steel Making;
- Holds a Master’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Pretoria, with a thesis in EAF control;
- Also has a Diploma in Organizational Management from the Moscow School of Business;
- Over 10 years experience in Iron, Steel, Vanadium processing and management.