A primary vanadium platform means having one of largest high-grade primary vanadium resource base and the largest primary vanadium production in the world.
Low cost means targeting the lowest cost position on the vanadium production cash cost curve, leveraging the high in-situ and in-magnetite V205 grades and the open-cast mining proposition of Bushveld Minerals’ deposits as well as access to low-cost brownfield processing infrastructure. The Company’s vanadium assets are either positioned in the first quartile or show the potential for first or second quartile cost positioning. Vametco, the Company’s flagship asset is one of the lowest cost primary producers while enjoying some of the highest grades. The Company’s strategy is for the assets to be in a position of generating cash in every phase of the commodity cycle.
A vertically integrated primary vanadium platform means development of downstream operations beyond production of end-use vanadium products to also include development and deployment of vanadium applications in the energy storage market, where Bushveld intends to manufacture vanadium electrolyte and to assemble large-scale VRFBs.
Vametco is a low-cost primary vanadium mining and processing company with a 186.7 Mt JORC compliant resource averaging 1.98% V2O5 in magnetite grades (including 48.4 Mt in reserves), and a life of mine of 27 years. Vametco produces a trademark vanadium product, NitrovanTM, as well as Modified vanadium oxide. Vametco is expected to produce between 2,800 mtV and 2,900 mtV in 2019.
Vametco is expected to reach a steady state production of 3,400 mtVp.a. during 2020 (90% of its processing nameplate capacity of 3,750 mtVp.a.), increasing to more than 4,200 mtVp.a. (85% of its processing nameplate capacity of 5,000 mtVp.a.) through the planned expansion programme
Bushveld owns an effective controlling interest of 74% in Vametco, the maximum equity ownership stake permitted under the current South African Mining Charter III, which requires 26% to be held by Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (“BBBEE”) shareholders.
Brits Vanadium Project is an extension, along strike, of the Vametco mine. Recent drilling results have indicated a lower seam weighted average grades of 0.66% V2O5 in-situ and 1.66% V2O5 in magnetite. Brits has the potential to provide additional ore feed for the Vametco plant and, if required, concentrate feed for the Vanchem plant.
Bushveld Minerals owns an effective controlling interest in the asset ranges between 51% and 74%, through three different companies.
3. Vanchem (conditional acquisition)
On 1 May 2019, Bushveld Minerals announced the conditional acquisition of Vanchem to complement its portfolio of vanadium assets. Vanchem is a primary vanadium processing facility capable of producing various vanadium oxides, Ferrovanadium and vanadium chemicals. Vanchem is currently producing about 80 mtV per month (approximately 960 mtVp.a.) using one of three available kilns.
After refurbishment and ramp-up, the plant is expected to reach steady state production of 4,200 mtVp.a.
Mokopane is one of the world’s largest primary vanadium resources, with a 298 Mt JORC compliant resource and a weighted average V2O5 grade of 1.41% in-situ and 1.75% in magnetite.
Mokopane is intended to become a primary source of feedstock for Vanchem, creating a fully integrated vanadium production business in a shorter time frame and at lower cost as opposed to a standalone operation. Bushveld Minerals retains the options of supplying ore to other primary or secondary producers worldwide and/or to develop Mokopane into an integrated mine and processing plant.
Bushveld Minerals currently owns an effective interest of 64% in the project.