LSE-listed vanadium producer Ferro-Alloy Resources (FAR) has started production of ferro-molybdenum and vanadium pentoxide at its Balasausqandiq vanadium deposit in southern Kazakhstan.
In October 2020, the company started to recover molybdenum in the form of calcium molybdate as a by-product during the recovery of vanadium from bought-in raw-material concentrates. The calcium molybdate was sold at a discount to the published price for the contained molybdenum.
FAR is now converting this calcium molybdate to ferro-molybdenum, which will enable the company to avoid the discount.
The producer has also commissioned the equipment to convert ammonium metavanadate (AMV) into vanadium pentoxide.
Formerly, the AMV was sold at a small discount to the published price of the contained vanadium pentoxide. FAR says some amounts will continue to be sold as AMV to satisfy existing contracts, but increasing volumes will be converted to vanadium pentoxide, thus eliminating the discount for AMV.
The material remaining after extraction of the vanadium and molybdenum products from the vanadium-bearing concentrates contains quantities of nickel, which the company has been selling as a low-grade concentrate.
The company, which mining mogul Mick Davis is backing, is now offering for sale AMV, vanadium pentoxide, ferro-molybdenum and nickel concentrates.
Further, FAR says will commission an electric arc furnace in the first half of 2022, in what will be the last step in its current plans for the existing processing operation. This will bring vanadium production up to 1 500 t/y of vanadium-pentoxide equivalent, as well as greatly reduce costs to make ferro-vanadium and enable the production of ferro-nickel.
The necessary connection of the plant to a high-voltage powerline and a 1 000 m2 process-plant extension have already been built in readiness for this equipment.
CEO Nick Bridgen said on Wednesday that the low cost, revenue-generating step completed the company’s current product line-up and allowed it to extract the maximum value of the vanadium and molybdenum from its raw-materials.
“Together with our low Kazakhstan operating costs, this enables us to be amongst the most efficient producers of vanadium from secondary raw materials,” he said.