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Australian Vanadium backed to produce critical battery materials

Manufacturing News

Resources and chemicals group Australian Vanadium Limited (AVL) will receive a $49 million grant from the federal government to support a major project in Western Australia to produce critical battery metals and electrolyte for vanadium redox storage batteries.

The grant, under the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative Collaboration Stream, will fund development of the company’s vanadium, iron and titanium resource at Gabanintha south of Meekatharra, where it will undertake crushing, milling and benefaction of the magnetite ores.

The resulting concentrate would be transported to Mullewa near the port of Geraldton where Australian Vanadium will produce vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) suitable for the critical mineral and battery market.

That will be further processed at a vanadium electrolyte manufacturing plant currently under construction at Kwinana south of Perth.

The Kwinana plant is partly funded by a federal government Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing National Manufacturing Priority Roadmap.

Managing director Vincent Algar said the latest grant would create hundreds of jobs and help build a vanadium industry – vanadium has been named a critical metal in Australia, the US, Japan and Europe.

Algar said the company would work with partners to further develop downstream opportunities for green steel and the vanadium redox flow battery market.

Australian Vanadium is working with ATCO to incorporate green hydrogen into the project to fuel processing.

“By establishing manufacturing capabilities across both critical minerals and recycling as well as clean energy within Australia AVL’s collaborative project will (enable) technologically driven solutions towards a low carbon economy.”

Working with Bryah Resources, AVL will also explore the processing of waste materials from the project to separate out base metals cobalt, nickel, copper and gold.

AVL’s technology partners include Curtain University, Queensland University of Technology and nuclear science and technology organisation ANSTO.

Picture: Australian Vanadium/pilot plant operation

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