It has been called the plastic of the 21st century, a strategic rare metallic element with remarkable properties that are especially important for today’s rising technologies, such as lithium-ion batteries. But it’s an element that is almost exclusively (98%) mined in South Africa, China, and Russia, typically from vanadium-bearing magnetite that requires considerable processing.
That’s why a discovery in Madagascar has brought Energizer Resources, Inc. (ENZR), a Canadian based minerals exploration company, to the attention of investors. The company has 100% interest in what is called the Green Giant project, a 225 square kilometer property in south central Madagascar. Little if any modern exploration for mineral deposits has been completed in this part of Madagascar, and the Green Giant property drillings have now shown it to be one of the largest vanadium deposits in the world. Moreover, the deposit is unique from other known vanadium deposits, because it is sediment-hosted, not magnetite hosted. Sediment-hosted vanadium requires less processing, and is expected to produce high-purity battery grade vanadium pentoxide (V2O5).
Although the project will require the upgrading of the area’s transportation and power infrastructure, Energizer Resources is working with Asia-Thai Mining, one of the owners of a nearby coal project, on a transportation upgrade sharing program. A National Instrument 43-101 compliant preliminary economic assessment (PEA) has been initiated with DRA Mineral Projects.
Vanadium is considered a strategic metal, both for performance and cost. Its primary quality is its ability to enhance the properties of things with which it is mixed. It can make things stronger, lighter, more efficient, or more powerful. For example, only a small amount of vanadium is required to dramatically increase the tensile strength of steel, making vanadium essential in construction applications. In addition, it is important in aerospace and other industries for things like vanadium-titanium alloys, offering the best strength-to-weight ratio of any engineered material. But vanadium has also become critical to battery technology, increasing the energy density and voltage of lithium-ion batteries, important for improving the performance of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Energizer, the only company actively working to produce a battery grade vanadium pentoxide as a primary product, is targeting Green Giant production for the end of 2014.
Additional information is available at the company’s website, www.EnergizerResources.com