Western Uranium & Vanadium has revealed its intention to re-open the Sunday Mine Complex (SMC), an advanced stage mine property consisting of five individual mines, located in Slick Rock District, San Miguel County, Colorado.


Image: Vanadium metal pieces. Photo courtesy of W. Oelen/Wikimedia Commons.

Western is commencing this program with the goals of upgrading the vanadium resource and monetizing these already significant vanadium resource holdings.

Increased demand for vanadium in high-strength steel and accelerating battery metal demand for vanadium flow battery applications has driven vanadium prices from USD$10 to USD$30 during 2018. 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).

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.

Consequently, Western is in discussions with multiple potential customers and joint venture partners who are requesting ore samples.

Given the vanadium commodity price appreciation over the past six months, Western is accelerating production planning at the SMC in anticipation of sourcing an agreement sufficient to baseload the SMC.

In conjunction with re-opening the SMC, Western plans to further define the existing high-grade vanadium resource that has been identified on this property.

Management of Western believes the historic SMC vanadium resource estimate reported in the SMC Technical Report is significantly understated because: (1) only a small proportion of the SMC resource property has been drilled or mined, (2) the historic 6:1 vanadium/uranium ratio was calculated from past production during primary uranium campaigns, (3) the majority of past production would have bypassed superior grade vanadium deposits in favor of deposits with higher uranium grades, and (4) technological limitations of legacy drilling and analysis techniques that were employed for past exploration did not support vanadium specific analysis.

After the SMC re-opening, Western will further define that project’s high-grade vanadium resource through the application of X-Ray Fluorescence technology (“XRF”).

An XRF analyzer is capable of providing real-time underground metal and alloy analysis. This will allow the initial targeting of the most accessible highest grade vanadium resource zones. This study is contemplated to form the basis for future drilling and production programs.

As Western advances with its plans for re-opening of the SMC and is able to report on the timing of preparations, anticipated start dates and other milestones, Western will provide shareholders and investors with updates through its quarterly and other securities filings, and when appropriate through subsequent news releases.

Source: Company Press Release