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Julia Creek vanadium mine reveals big opportunities


The Outback town of Julia Creek is the centre of activity for vanadium mining and one project has found a resource that has a net present value of $613 million.

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Horizon Minerals is one of several companies looking to develop the vast vanadium reserves around Julia Creek.

Vanadium is used in steel production but also has applications for rechargeable batteries, specifically those used at renewable energy projects.

Horizon said the study also showed the project would have “modest” upfront capital costs of $242 million.

“At current spot prices of $13.15 a pound … the project generates net present value of $613 million with an internal rate of return of 38 per cent and a payback in 3,2 years,” Horizon told the market.

Horizon and its joint venture partners will now move to a definitive feasibility study which will include offtake arrangements and environmental and statutory approvals.

Managing director Jon Price said the Richmond-Julia Creek project was one of the largest undeveloped oxide vanadium resources in the world and could produce globally significant supply.

“Restricted supply and increased demand have resulted in sustained increases in pries with the initial 25-year mine life at Lilyvale generating a net present value of $613 million at current spot prices,” Price said.

“What sets this project apart is its minimal impact on the environment with shallow pit mining, progressive rehabilitation, low capex, conventional processing and first quartile operating costs.

“We look forward to the completion of the definitive feasibility study in 2022 and believe the project can have a significant economic development benefits to regional Queensland and the national economy.”


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