The vanadium market isn’t always the most lively, but the past couple of weeks have seen TNG, Largo Resources and Atlantic take big steps forward.
Here’s a look at what those companies accomplished.
TNG teams up with POSCO
TNG (ASX:TNG) finished up last month with a bang, signing on May 23 what it describes as a “landmark development MOU” (memorandum of understanding) with POSCO Engineering and Construction, the construction arm of POSCO (NYSE:PKX).
The deal covers the completion of a feasibility study for TNG’s Mount Peake project, located in Australia’s Northern Territory, as well as the construction and development of that project. It also encompasses potential project financing from the Korean Export Credit Agency or Korean banks. And, as if that wasn’t enough, it may also “pav[e] the way” for POSCO Engineering and Construction to get involved in the engineering, construction, financing and development of Mount Peake in the future.
TNG is understandably pleased. For his part, Paul Burton, TNG’s managing director, commented that the MOU is “consistent with [the company’s] broader objective, which is to secure globally significant strategic and commodity partners” to work with. He also noted that because the deal with POSCO Engineering and Construction is non-exclusive, he hasn’t “rule[d] out the possibility of other global strategic partners becoming involved.”
First production and exports from Mount Peake are slated for 2015, as per Mining Weekly.
Largo approaches production
The last couple of weeks have also been a whirlwind for Brazil-focused Largo Resources (TSXV:LGO).
On May 16, it started warming the kiln at its Maracas vanadium project, located in Brazil, explaining in a press release that the move marked “the conclusion of the commissioning process at the facility.” Just days later, Largo received its preliminary operating license for production.
Most recently, on May 26, the company started feeding vanadium concentrate into the kiln at Maracas. Mark Brennan, Largo’s president and CEO, said the move “represents another milestone that shortly leads to our first production.”
When production does begin, the company will have no difficulty selling its product; it already has a take-or-pay offtake agreement with Glencore Xstrata (LSE:GLEN) for 100 percent of its vanadium material for six years after production gets started.
Back in February, Atlantic (ASX:ATI) came forward with the unfortunate news that a fire had broken out at the beneficiation plant at its Western Australia-based Windimurra vanadium project. Though it was “quickly contained” and injured no personnel, the company said soon after in a corporate update that it could take about nine months to rebuild the plant.
Last week, however, Atlantic was able to provide some slightly better news. The company said in its production and sales report for the month of April that its insurers have granted it indemnity for the fire; indeed, Atlantic has received a first progress payment of $18.45 million. A progress claim for the period ended March 31, 2014 has since been lodged.
The report also states that demolition work in the beneficiation area has started up and that Atlantic is in the midst of preparing “the beneficiation plant rebuild scope of work, detailed schedule and execution cost.” Aside from that, the company is “complet[ing] a technical review of all the non-beneficiation plant components of the Windimurra plant.”
At the moment, trading of Atlantic’s securities is suspended. No word yet on when trading will resume.
Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.