Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals says it is “delighted” by the results released on July 29 by the US Department of Commerce on its investigation, under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, into the effect of imports of vanadium on the national security of the US.
Bushveld is one of only three operating primary producers of vanadium in the world and has a well-established market in the US steel sector, the company notes.
It says that, during this investigation, the company argued against measures that would restrict vanadium imports into the US.
Some of the key findings from the investigation are that vanadium is essential to US national security and is a critical mineral.
The US is currently reliant on imports to satisfy its demand for vanadium products and is not producing sufficient amounts of vanadium to meet domestic demand.
The absence of vanadium supply would, therefore, have significant consequences for the US economy and national security, notes Bushveld.
It adds that, currently, the only primary vanadium producer in the US has only produced during one of the last five years, owing to low vanadium prices; and even then, supplied less than 4% of US vanadium demand.
The investigation concluded that “the present quantities and circumstances of vanadium imports do not threaten to impair US national security as defined under [Section] 232”.
For Bushveld, the US is a critical market, especially as vanadium demand is expected to be boosted by the increasing demand for vanadium-based energy storage solutions globally.
Bushveld posits that the findings of this investigation present a victory not only for the company, but also for South Africa, which hosts large deposits of high-grade vanadium.