In parallel with developing the Balasausqandiq vanadium deposit, the Company is operating a processing plant treating low-grade bought-in concentrates with a production capability of around 150 tonnes per annum of vanadium pentoxide in the form of ammonium metavanadate (AMV). Higher output is possible if higher grade feeds are treated. This plant was based on the former pilot plant which was suitably adapted to treat concentrates and thereby increased output to the current semi-commercial level. The Company is currently installing equipment that will enable the plant to treat a wide variety of higher grade secondary sources of vanadium including spent catalysts and vanadium-containing ashes.
After commissioning of the latest equipment the Company plans to increase output in stages to up to 1,500 tonnes of V2O5 per year by further debottlenecking the plant and installing additional equipment, including the ovens required to convert AMV to vanadium pentoxide, a more widely traded form of vanadium.
The cash flows from this processing operation will provide a significant proportion of the equity requirement for the development of the first phase of the Company’s own mine and processing facilities, and will enable the Company to finance any debt requirement at lower cost.