Battery Metals


The Sunday mine complex consists of five mines, all of which have been functional at some point, producing high-grade uranium and vanadium.

As the price of vanadium continues to rise, Western Uranium & Vanadium (CSE:WUC,OTCQX:WSTRF) has announced it plans to reopen its Sunday mine complex in Colorado.

The Sunday mine complex consists of five mines, all of which have been functional at some point, producing high-grade uranium and vanadium.

A number of miners have produced material at the complex, with the last mining interval at Sunday completed by Denison Mines (TSX:DML,NYSEAMERICAN:DNN) from 2006 to 2009.

While the Sunday complex is known for both uranium and vanadium, Western says will be focused on vanadium production at the site.

The price of vanadium flake has increased by 180 percent this year, starting 2018 at roughly US$12 per pound and skyrocketing to US$33.60 as of Monday (October 29).

While most vanadium demand stems from the construction sector, vanadium flake is a key component in vanadium redox flow batteries, which are increasingly being used as large-scale energy storage solutions. This two-fold demand scenario has made it an exceptional year for the metal.

“This large price increase is driven by a global supply deficit, and most notably new Chinese building code standards requiring vanadium rebar strengthening effective next month (November 2018),” notes the company press release.

“China, the world’s largest vanadium producer and vanadium consumer, has exacerbated the supply deficit by becoming a net importer through the consumption of vanadium supply that was formerly available to end users from other countries,” it continues.

Western believes now is the perfect opportunity to benefit from the vanadium price surge, which is why it is in a hurry to get to production. The company is now in talks with potential customers and joint venture partners to send ore samples from the Sunday complex.

Ahead of any offtake or partnership deals, Western plans to further define and grade the vanadium resource. Using X-ray fluorescent technology, the resource can be analyzed and assessed in real time. This technique is especially helpful in denoting high-grade deposits for initial targeting.

This will be an important step towards production, as Western believes the previous uranium focus at Sunday prevented a proper and thorough delineation of the vanadium content.

In Monday’s release, the company outlines the following reasons for its renewed vanadium focus at Sunday. Its reasons are as follows:

  • Only a small proportion of the Sunday complex resource property has been drilled or mined;
  • the historic 6:1 vanadium/uranium ratio was calculated from past production during primary uranium campaigns;
  • the majority of past production would have bypassed superior-grade vanadium deposits in favor of deposits with higher uranium grades; and
  • technological limitations of legacy drilling and analysis techniques that were employed for past exploration did not support vanadium-specific analysis.

Moving ahead, Western will offer project and resource updates as they become available.

Shares of Western fell slightly on Monday on the CSE, trading at C$2.37 as of 2:30 p.m. PST.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


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