The specifications of the latest generation of vanadium battery electrolyte from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory introduce hydrochloric acid into the electrolyte solution, which almost doubles the storage capacity and makes the system work over a far greater range of temperatures, from –40°C to 50°C (–40°F to 122°F). The latter removes the large previous cost of maintaining temperature control.
With fierce competition amongst vanadium battery makers without a clear winner, investing in a vanadium mining company may be the best way to participate in the rise of vanadium use in batteries.
Today there are many vanadium battery suppliers in China (PuNeng, Rongke), UK, Europe, USA (Vionx, UET), Thailand, and Japan. Each claims its own superiority in performance, reliability, and cost. Investing in vanadium mining company may be best way to participate the rise of vanadium usage in batteries. Think of vanadium mining as bitcoin mining, which comes with relatively fixed unit cost and is unhindered upside by a rising vanadium price.
The spotlight for possibly the most advanced permitting stage vanadium project in North America is the Gibellini primary vanadium project, operated by Prophecy Development Corp (TSX: PCY, OTC: PRPCF, Frankfurt: 1P2N). Gibellini is located in mining friendly state of Nevada, where the majority of gold production in the United States takes place.
In the last 10 years, Gibellini received approximately $20 million in investment in drilling, engineering, feasibility, and permitting.
Prophecy received an independent technical report on the Gibellini project titled “Gibellini Vanadium Project Nevada, USA NI 43-101 Technical Report” with an effective date of November 10, 2017 (the “Report,” prepared by Amec Foster Wheeler E&C Services Inc., or AMEC). The Report disclosed an estimated for the Gibellini deposit 49.62 million pounds of vanadium pentoxide in the measured category and 79.67 million pounds of vanadium pentoxide in the indicated category. As vanadium currently trades at over $9 a pound, the resource base translates to a lot of dollar value in the ground in a mining friendly jurisdiction.
On Dec. 20, 2017, the U.S. president, Donald Trump, signed the executive order “Recognizing Strategic Importance of Minerals Mining to Domestic Economy, National Security, Infrastructure.” Among other things, he called on U.S. government agencies to identify ways to both (1) streamline the permitting processes (expediting exploration, production, processing, reprocessing, recycling, and domestic refining of critical minerals) and (2) ensure that miners and producers have electronic access to the most advanced topographic, geologic, and geophysical data within U.S. territory.
On the same day, the U.S. Geological Survey listed vanadium as one of 23 critical mineral resources of the United States; yet there is not a primary vanadium mine currently in the country.
Prophecy’s goals are to develop Gibellini into the first primary vanadium mine in the United States and to offer the best leverage and a direct investment vehicle, one that reflects vanadium prices.
The considerable upside of vanadium mining company valuation can be seen when compared with uranium mining company valuation.
Here I have made a valuation comparison of three preproduction-stage mining companies: Prophecy (vanadium), Fission (uranium), and NextGen (uranium). I chose Fission and NextGen because most vanadium is produced in China and there are no primary vanadium mines in North America to compare Gibellini with.