This is an updated version of an article published on Vanadium Investing News on August 19, 2010.
Vanadium does not naturally occur in isolation, and instead is found as a trace mineral within other orebodies. It is therefore generally produced as a by-product.
Currently, known global vanadium resources exceed 63 million MT. In 2014, China, South Africa and Russia were the only countries that produced significant amounts of vanadium, but there are vanadium projects located elsewhere.
For instance, Canada hosts vanadium deposits in locations such as Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. Total reserves are unknown at this time, but plenty of companies are working in the country to develop projects. With that in mind, the Investing News Network has put together an overview of vanadium mining in Canada.
Vanadium exploration in Canada
Gossan Resources (TSXV:GSS) — Gossan has a diverse portfolio of properties in Manitoba and Ontario; they are focused on gold, platinum and base metals, as well as tantalum, lithium, vanadium and chromium. The company’s 50-percent-owned Pipestone Lake vanadium-titanium-iron project is located in Manitoba, and to date drilling has outlined a non-compliant NI 43-101 indicated resource of 156.8 million tonnes grading 5.56 percent titanium, 28.11 percent iron oxide and 0.22 percent V2O5.
VanadiumCorp Resources (TSXV:VRB) — VanadiumCorp is focused on its 100-percent-owned Lac Dore vanadium project in Quebec. The company released an amended NI 43-101 resource estimate for the property in June, and it points to an inferred resource of 99.1 million tons grading 0.43 percent V2O5. The resource represents 26,067,000 tons of magnetite concentrate grading 1.08 percent V2O5 and is based on assays from the magnetite concentrate. According to the US Geological Survey, Lac Dore is the second-largest vanadium deposit in the world, with 2.27 million MT (5 billion pounds) of reserves.
More recently, VanadiumCorp completed a $500,000 private placement; funds will be used for a preliminary economic assessment for Lac Dore, as well as for working capital.
Nevado Resources (TSXV:VDO) — Also located in Quebec is Nevado’s La Blache titanium-vanadium-iron property, which is comprised of 66 claims covering an area of 3,647 hectares. The company released a resource estimate for the Farrell-Taylor deposit at the property in May 2012, and it shows an inferred mineral resource of 101.7 million tonnes grading 0.33 percent V2O5, 18 percent TiO2 and 59.7 percent Fe2O3.
Northern Shield Resources (TSXV: NRN) — Northern Shield is mainly focused on exploration for platinum-group elements, nickel and copper, but also has a significant vanadium resource at its Highbank Lake property in Northwestern Ontario.
Drilling in 2006 saw drill hole 06HB-04 intersect 5.2 meters of 0.75 percent V2O5, including a higher-grade core of 0.98 percent V2O5 over 2.2 meters. The last update on the property came from the company in June 2011, when a scheduled 1,600-meter drill program was announced. No further update has been given.
Noront Resources (TSXV:NOT) — Mainly known for its chromium-related activities in Ontario’s Ring of Fire, Noront also has a 100-percent interest in the Thunderbird iron-vanadium-titanium deposit, also in Ontario.
There are also a couple private vanadium mining companies exploring and developing projects in Canada: Ironstone Resources and Black Rock Metals.
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The future of vanadium mining in Canada
As mentioned, last year China, South Africa and Russia were the only significant producers of vanadium. According to the US Geological Survey, respectively they put out 41,000 MT, 21,000 MT and 15,000 MT; other unspecified countries put out a combined 600 MT.
Interestingly, in previous years the list of vanadium-producing countries was a little longer. For instance, in 2013, the US produced 591 tonnes of the metal. Meanwhile, Australia put out 400 tonnes of vanadium in 2013, but like the US recorded no output in 2014.
As those statistics show, there is fluctuation in vanadium production, and given all the exploration taking place in Canada, it’s possible that in years to come vanadium mining in Canada could come to play a bigger role in worldwide production, particularly as demand for green energy — which vanadium-redox batteries can supply — becomes stronger. It will certainly be interesting to watch how the landscape develops.
Do you know of another company exploring for vanadium in Canada? Let us know in the comments!
Securities Disclosure: I, Kristen Moran, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: VanadiumCorp Resource is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.