Licensing Green Technology, New Supply Chains
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VanadiumCorp Resource Inc (TSX:VRB) is a mining and technology company that has developed disruptive process technology and vanadium supply for sustainable energy storage technologies. After a decade of vanadium resource development, VanadiumCorp chose to explore innovative approaches for processing to address the global shortage of battery grade vanadium.
With this challenge, VanadiumCorp identified and partnered with Electrochem Technologies & Materials Inc who invented a new electrochemical process that has the potential to revolutionize energy storage, steel making, vanadium applications, iron production, titanium industries and more. The VanadiumCorp-Electrochem Process Technology recovers maximum value of all contained metals from single source feedstocks and waste with half the energy and a negligible carbon footprint.
- New Process – Green chemical technology innovation unlocks max value of magnetite slags, calcine and other feedstock with half the energy of current pollutive methods.
- Near term commercial demonstration objectives – Zero vanadium electrolyte production cost target with recovery of iron, titania and silica. Cash flow model and licensing development plan includes processing feedstocks previously considered waste.
- Global Licensing/Royalties – Objective of commercial demonstration and cash flow to finance process development and unlock near term supply.
- Long term commercial production objective – 100 percent owned vanadium-titanium-iron resources.
- Experienced management and technical team – Low administration and development costs reinforced by quality expertise and sustainable development.
- Small market capitalization – Strategic upside position in emerging process technology and supply chain required for energy storage, steel, vanadium, titanium and iron markets.
- Strong Demand outperforming lithium and cobalt price performance combined in the past 3 years. Vanadium is the most cost-efficient steel and alloy strengthener, and new applications for vanadium-based energy storage, window coatings, robotics and supercomputing bode are forecast to push prices higher.
- North American Advantage – Unrivalled vanadium-titanium-iron resources now recoverable with the new technology.
- Location – Mining-friendly Quebec includes tax incentives, government funding and low cost hydroelectricity.
- Timing – The right process and products for high demand specialty markets.
The vanadium market is on fire
Unable to catch fire like lithium, vanadium batteries “VRFBs” do not generate any heat. VRFBs last up to two lifetimes and are considered the most sustainable form of energy storage in the world. In fact, most (approximately 80 percent) of the battery is vanadium electrolyte and is indefinitely reusable. The mandate of VanadiumCorp is to eliminate the cost and carbon footprint of vanadium for vanadium batteries.
Vanadium’s unique chemical properties have a myriad of high tech applications such as energy storage, supercomputing, nanotechnology, window coating, pigments, aerospace and super alloys and more. The US geological society recently categorized vanadium as a critical metal with irreplaceable applications. In steel and steel alloys, vanadium has the highest strength to weight ratio known to man.
Vanadium Batteries Largest challenge into Opportunity: Vanadium Electrolyte
Stable supply of battery grade vanadium electrolyte or primary production simply does not exist. As the vanadium represents close to half the cost of a vanadium battery, the economics of the battery are dictated by the cost prohibitive production methods utilized by the steel industry. Vanadium Electrolyte is a victim of outdated, inefficient and pollutive production methods that perpetuate elusive existence as a non-traded commodity. When demand spikes, steel and critical applications like aerospace outbid battery companies. Despite the unnecessary cost of vanadium electrolyte, VRFBs have already overcome lithium batteries on a levelized cost basis. The future of sustainable energy is now within reach with cost elimination and carbon footprint removal of vanadium with VanadiumCorp-Electrochem Technology. The Disruptive green technology directly recovers vanadium into sulfuric acid “H2SO4“ solution as the electrolyte precursor. The new green method is absolute opposite to global producers that utilize pollutive limited recovery of an impure vanadium oxide. The few primary producers left serve the steel industry and yield only 1 percent from magnetite concentrate. Primary vanadium mines regularly suffer catastrophic shutdowns due to high economic vulnerability. The high yield, maximum recovery of VanadiumCorp-Electrochem Technology spreads commodity risk over four marketable products instead absolute reliance on one.
Industry challenges and bottlenecks
Conventional pyrometallurgical processes utilize either direct soda ash roasting of the magnetite followed by water leaching, or the arc smelting and slagging of the magnetite followed by soda ash roasting of the vanadium-rich slag. Smelting or roasting is capital intensive with high operating costs, technical risks and significant emissions of greenhouse gases that pose serious environmental issues. Hydrometallurgical processes for the extraction of vanadium have been proposed in the last decade as a lower cost alternative in replacement of the conventional processes but they fail to produce a high quality iron co-product.
The Vanadiumcorp-Electrochem Process Technology addresses these key issues and allows the full recovery of vanadium for the production of vanadium electrolyte (VE) or vanadium chemicals as well as the concurrent production of titania byproduct, high quality iron co-product and silica. Smelting and roasting processing is inefficient and pollutive and the resulting vanadium oxide is better suited for steel production. Cost of purification, transport and lower pricing requirements of battery companies is simply not sustainable with current production methods. There are thousands of vanadium based magnetite resources and only three primary mines in production in the world (Rhovan and Vametco in South Africa and Maracas in Brazil). Vanadiumcorp-Electrochem Process Technology has the potential to unlock new supply around the world and revitalize existing production facilities with sustainable energy.
Vanadium Processing Technology
Leading up to a partnership agreement formalized in early 2018, VanadiumCorp and Electrochem entered into a MOU in February 2017. Under the MOU, the companies collaborated to demonstrate production of vanadium electrolyte, electrolytic iron, titania byproduct and silica. The companies also filed provisional patents in the US, constructed a custom-built reactor pilot with a capacity of 300 kilograms per month and conducted two phases of testing.
In January 2018, the companies solidified their partnership by signing an agreement for joint development and licensing of the technology. The partnership also includes the demonstration of commercialization through global licensing, the build of a pilot plant and the scaled production of the company’s vanadium projects in Quebec.
In collaboration with Electrochem, the invention by Francois Cardarelli was confirmed through a strategy to test, analyze and scale approach in Phase I. “Results of accelerated joint development of VanadiumCorp-Electrochem Technology have exceeded all expectations beyond planned objectives,” said Bakker. “Confirmation of a 100 percent green process, maximum transformation of high purity iron, vanadium, titanium from VTM and multiple feedstocks reinforce the plan to scale-up our operations with Electrochem.”
The second phase of production trials expanded the technology’s industry potential by showcasing high yield recovery from waste materials slags, sludges and calcine.
Path to Commercialization
In 2018, the Company is targeting commercial demonstration for the disruptive technology with Electrochem. Through global licensing and the development of a commercial pilot plant in Canada, the Company intends to validate the green technology and generate non-dilutive cash-flow. This has the additional benefit for VanadiumCorp’s Lac Dore and Iron-T vanadium projects, which can now be efficiently processed by the technology. In addition, the company also has recently filed its International PCT application to the US provisional application filed in February 2017.
Flagship Property: Lac Dore Vanadium Project
The wholly-owned Lac Dore vanadium property spans over 45 square kilometers and is located near the mining-center of Chibougamau in Quebec, Canada. This project is located adjacent to a permitted mine project owned, Blackrock Metals Inc. VanadiumCorp’s resources are situated close to roads, the CN railway, 161KV power, water and local airports. The projects are also supported by an experienced workforce, mining friendly communities and Cree First Nations communities that have historically supported many mines in the region including the neighboring Blackrock Metals project.
The Lac Dore Project is a former Canadian crown project earmarked for vanadium electrolyte production in 2002. In June 2015, VanadiumCorp confirmed a significant NI 43-101 inferred resource estimate including of 621,214,00 pounds of vanadium pentoxide in iron and titanium rich magnetite concentrate with an average grade of 1.08 percent.
The Lac Dore deposit is frequently compared to the Bushveld Complex in South Africa, that sustained over four primary vanadium producers in 53 years. The 99 percent waste from historic vanadium production is known as calcine and contains rich vanadium, titanium and iron now recoverable with VanadiumCorp and Electrochem. Companies in South Africa have recently shipped products to Electrochem to evaluate licensing possibilities.
The company is currently in the process of updating a preliminary economic analysis (PEA) for the project, which will outline the economics of both mining the property and for developing ideal feedstock for VanadiumCorp-Electrochem Process Technology.
Development Stage: Iron-T Vanadium Project — World Class Potential
The 3,500-hectare Iron-T vanadium property is neighboring the mining center of Matagami, Quebec and 350 kilometers from the Lac Dore project. The property hosts a NI- 43-101 VTM Resource of 14.38 million tonnes named the Genesis zone within a 22.5-kilometer strike-length of consistent grading magnetite measuring at 0.42 percent vanadium pentoxide. The vanadiferous magnetite of the Iron-T is remarkably similar to the Lac Dore Complex and the Bushveld Complex. The added benefit of Iron, Titanium and Silica values now recoverable with the new green process could change the scope of the entire project. The Genesis Resource remains open at depth and along the strike.
Adriaan Bakker—President and CEO
The son of an energy entrepreneur and engineer, Adriaan’s vision from an early age was the development of a sustainable energy future. After spearheading the acquisition of highly prospective vanadium projects in Canada, he assembled a world class technical team and transitioned the entire management team by proxy in 2013. Through his leadership, the company’s stalled exploration prospects were developed into significant NI 43-101 vanadium-titanium-iron resources in under two years. After careful consideration of current process methods, Adriaan approached Electrochem to address serious industry challenges. This resulted in the invention of an innovative process technology by Electrochem that created the path to sustainable energy. This includes cost mitigation of vanadium as the key to renewable energy storage and a world of additional possibilities including carbon free steel and alloys, supercomputing, smart window coating, advanced robotics, nanotechnologies, pigments and more.
Stephen Pearce—CFO and Corporate Secretary
Stephen has over 27 years of experience in mining and law includes global mine management and operations. Specializing in corporate and securities law, he received his law degree from the University of British Columbia and an Honours Bachelors Degree in economics from York University with an emphasis on corporate finance. He is active in his community and serves as President of WRAGS (Western Regional Advocacy Group Society), a non-profit organization which works in partnership with Sleep Country Canada to provide free mattresses to those in our community most in need.
Paul Sorbara MSc, PGeo—Director
27 years of experience and accomplishments in mining, management and project development. He received the designation of Professional Geologist in 1991 from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists in British Columbia and in 1985, the Geological Association of Canada awarded him the designation of Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada. Currently a director of Golden Goliath Resources Ltd. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1976 and a Master of Science Degree in 1979.
John has strategically invested in the resource market for the past 30 years and is one of the largest investors of VanadiumCorp. He is renowned for his practical approach to direct investment and project development and his mandate for strict corporate governance. His background includes mineral prospecting, discovery and mine development globally as well as real estate for the last 25 years in Canada. His network of contacts covers a wide array of retail and strategic contacts from the mining industry and accredited investment community.
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