Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed vanadium developer Technology Metals Australia has struck a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India’s Tata Steel regarding the potential offtake of vanadium pentoxide and other downstream vanadium products from the Murchison technology metals project (MTMP), in Western Australia.

Under the MoU with Tata Steel, the parties will undertake discussions on the technical requirements for downstream vanadium processing in India and Australia, potential commercial collaboration in the MTMP and downstream production facilities, supply of vanadium pentoxide and other downstream vanadium products and potential investment by Tata Steel into Technology Metals and/or the MTMP.

The MoU is effective for a five-year term, unless the parties mutually agree to terminate the agreement.

“Technology Metals  is very excited to be partnering with Tata Steel, one of the world’s largest steelmakers, as well as furthering Australia’s important trade relationship with India. High purity vanadium pentoxide from the MTMP is important in producing lower emission ferrovanadium and vanadium nitride, which Tata Steel utilises in its steelmaking process,” said Technology metals MD Ian Prentice.

“Together, Technology Metals and Tata Steel can play an important part in reducing emissions in steel applications as the world progresses towards net zero carbon emissions.”

MTMP, some 50-km south of Meekatharra, is being developed to support annual vanadium production of some 12 500 t/y over an initial 25 year mine life. The project hosts an estimated ore reserve of 44.48-million tonnes at 0.89% vanadium oxide, divided between its Gabanintha and Yarrabudda deposits.

“Vanadium is a key component in Tata Steel’s steelmaking process to increase strength and reduce weight, and as our customers increasingly look to reduce their carbon emissions, we anticipate demand for these products to grow,” said Tata Steel VP for group strategic procurement, Rajiv Mukerji.

“Working with Technology Metals on opportunities surrounding primary vanadium and ferrovanadium production aligns with Tata Steel’s strategy to ensure reliable, stable supplies of raw materials to meet our customers’ future product requirements.”

The Western Australian government has welcomed the MoU, saying the agreement was accelerated by July’s Invest and Trade WA mission to India, which was led by State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook and International Education Minister David Templeman.


“Congratulations to Technology Metals and Tata Steel for entering into this MoU, which has the potential to deliver benefits for both companies, as well as Western Australia and India. It is a prime example of how our recent mission to India has opened doors, leading to greater investment and collaboration between Western Australia and India,” said Cook.


“This successful mission was the biggest ever to leave Western Australian shores with an extensive program of government and corporate meetings, industry briefings, roundtables and one-to-one business matching.


“The government is committed to enhancing the state’s strong relationship with India, which is underpinned by common values, strong people-to-people connections, and substantial trade and investment links.”


Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said that the MoU between Technology Metals and Tata Steel was great news for Western Australia’s growing battery and critical minerals industries.


“Beyond steel production, downstream vanadium products are an essential input for emerging energy technologies. Vanadium electrolyte is used in the manufacturing of vanadium redox flow batteries, which are used to provide long-term storage for electricity systems.


“Technology Metals’ MTMP is an exciting example of the battery and critical minerals opportunities Western Australia has to offer global investors.”


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