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Energy Storage News

21 April 2020: Vanadium mining and processing plant plans given support as WA state government targets battery industry strategy

The government of Western Australia (WA) has handed support to a project by Australian Vanadium Limited, a vanadium mining company seeking to vertically integrate its supply chain with its vanadium flow battery subsidiary VSUN Energy.

Stock Exchange-listed Australian Vanadium has been given Lead Agency status in WA by the state government’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) for its project to develop vanadium supply from a mining project and concentrator as well as a processing plant nearby (pictured below).

The Australian Vanadium Project was awarded Major Project Status by the Federal Government last September, with vanadium on a “critical materials” list not only in Australia but also in the UK and US. The metal is used not only in the energy storage industry as electrolyte material for redox flow batteries by some makers but is also used in the steel industry and aerospace construction.

At state level, the DMIRS will now “provide advice and assistance” to Australian Vanadium on how to coordinate getting project approvals across government. Australian Vanadium says that the project could create 500 jobs during construction, while resources thought to be available could support an initial 17-year lifetime for the facilities over just 2.5km of a total 11km of vanadium minerals thought to be in the area.

WA’s government is also targeting becoming a leading exporter of battery materials through a Future Battery Industry Strategy. Australian Vanadium and flow battery subsidiary VSUN meanwhile signed an agreement to work with the Future Batteries Industry Cooperative Research Centre (FBI CRC) on developing vanadium extraction and processing skills, particularly in Western Australia, in late 2018.

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