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Nevada BLM greenlights Gibellini vanadium project

30th October 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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The Nevada Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved the Gibellini vanadium project, completing the federal permitting process for what could be the first primary vanadium mine in the US.  

The project, near Eureka, is owned by Nevada Vanadium Mining, a subsidiary of Silver Elephant Mining.

“As one of the most advanced vanadium mine projects in the country, Gibellini represents exceptional optionality potential to provide a long-term domestic supply of high-purity vanadium critical for establishing a strong domestic vanadium supply chain required to support dependent industries such as vanadium redox flow batteries, steel industries, and the super alloys needed for aerospace,” said Nevada Vanadium president and CEO Ron Espell.

Gibellini will produce nearly ten-million pounds a year of vanadium – that represents more than 50% of the US demand, which is currently entirely met by imports.

The US government has designated vanadium a critical mineral of strategic importance.

“We're proud that Nevada can be a leader in efficiently permitting the development of critical minerals,” said BLM Nevada state director Jon Raby.

“While supporting local jobs and the economy, this mine would strengthen the supply chain while safely developing vanadium, a necessary component in aerospace, defense, technology and clean energy.”

The issuance of the record of decision (RoD) follows a review of the potential impacts of the project, including an evaluation of alternatives and an examination of project- and site-specific mitigation measures.

The BLM selected a renewable energy alternative for the project, in response to a review by the Environmental Protection Authority and Department of Interior. This alternative includes 6 MW of solar panels and a 10 MW vanadium flow battery, which is expected to provide 100% of the Gibellini project’s electricity needs.

Nevada Vanadium stated that Gibellini would be the first mine in the US to be completely powered by renewable energy.

With the ROD in hand, the company would concentrate on further exploring ways of reducing capital and operating costs, said Espell.

A 2021 preliminary economic assessment calculated capital expenditure of $147-million and operating cash costs of $4.7/lb of vanadium pentoxide.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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