VanadiumCorp (TSXV:VRB) just released a comprehensive NI 43-101 technical report for the Lac Dore vanadium project, which is located in mining-friendly Quebec. The report, unlike many other technical reports, uses information that has been compiled from the project’s previous owners to provide investors with an extensive review of both the vanadium market and an outline of the project’s development right into production. With the report, VanadiumCorp has sped up Lac Dore’s production timeline, bumping the project from exploration stage to advanced stage in one fell swoop.
Adriaan Bakker, the company’s CEO, is encouraged by what having compiled the vast amount of data means for the company, and in turn for investors.
“We don’t have to spend millions of dollars drilling the deposit. We are skipping all those steps and jumping right into the resource calculation, which we are now in the process of doing. Then we will move into the preliminary economic assessment and feasibility study,” Bakker told Vanadium Investing News.
Bakker highlighted that one of the key points for investors to note about the Lac Dore project is its location. Lac Dore is seated directly adjacent to Black Rock Metals, which is on track to break ground at its project this year. That is important for investors because of the established nature of the infrastructure.
“They have a rail spur, rail line, federal port and electrical substation all approved. And I believe they are already starting construction on that. They are effectively building $90 million worth of infrastructure that we can utilize,” Bakker explained.
Without having to build the infrastructure, the company is yet another step ahead of the curve. From the report, it is clear that VanadiumCorp intends to see the project through to production. And according to comments from the company’s project manager, Rejean Girard, that won’t be an impossible feat as the the Lac Dore project “can be quickly brought into development.”
Looking at the project’s timeline in an ideal, best-case scenario, VanadiumCorp could have Lac Dore in production in two years. However, investors should keep in mind that best-case scenarios are just that — an optimistic projection of expectations.
Why is this important?
As vanadium is a specialty metal with a solid position in the steel industry and a burgeoning presence in the renewable energy sector, the company has plans to cover all its bases.
“We can justify production on the economics of producing vanadium for the steel and alloy sector, but we will keep the option open for vanadium batteries,” Bakker explained, adding that “it’s always been a chicken-and-egg situation in North America to commercialize the vanadium redox battery, and the necessary part of it that was missing was adequate, long-term domestic supply, which Lac Dore has always represented.”
Bakker explained that the company intends to “build an open pit and a processing facility to complete production of vanadium pentoxide.”
And while energy storage does not make up a large part of vanadium’s market share, perhaps production of vanadium from a large domestic source will be a game changer for North America.
Bakker’s support of Lac Dore is clear. “I’m a big believer in this deposit and also in the green space for the battery technology. And if that can finally take hold in the next five to 10 years, I fully believe that our resource is going to make the biggest difference,” he said.
Definitely, as Bakker highlighted, bringing Lac Dore into production “gives us the opportunity to become independent and not rely on South Africa or China for our vanadium.”
Investors should be on the lookout for the company’s next step, which will be updating the technical report with the resource calculation before moving on to the preliminary economic assessment.
Lac Dore … where have I heard that before?
For seasoned vanadium market watchers, the Lac Dore project should ring a few bells. But it has been a long time since there has been a any positive news stemming from the project. That’s because VanadiumCorp has gone to great lengths — including name changes, management overhauls and dealing with the Quebec government regarding its claim to the land — to bring the Lac Dore project to its current stage.
“It is the largest economic resource of its kind in North America,” Bakker said, adding that “this is the first time in history that there has been a NI 43-101 compliant report completed on the area.”
Clearly, the company couldn’t be more pleased with the progress it has made.
Securities Disclosure: I, Vivien Diniz, hold no investment interest in any of the companies mentioned.