U.S. Vanadium, a private company in which venture capital firm Elysee Development Corp. (TSXV: ELC) has a 15% stake, is acquiring a Russian-owned production plant in Hot Springs, Ark., that produces vanadium pentoxide.
Russian steel producer, Evraz, purchased the plant in 2007.
“I cannot speak to why they were interested in selling it,” Jim Sims, a spokesman for U.S. Vanadium, tells The Northern Miner via email. “I can only say that U.S. Vanadium is very excited about ramping up operations there, expanding employment, and meeting the need for what we see is a potentially large global market for high-purity vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), vanadium trioxide (V2O3), and many other vanadium-based products that the Hot Springs facility can produce.”
Sims describes the plant as “a vanadium processing gem, that can, among other things, produce the highest purity V2O5 anywhere in the world,” and points to the material’s use in defence and other applications such as vanadium redox batteries.
The facility also produces a suite of specialty vanadium chemicals.
The acquisition price was not disclosed.
Production at the facility between 2008 and 2018 declined to low levels, and over the last 12 months, US Vanadium has toll milled at the facility. The company plans to restore the facility to its nameplate capacity of 12 million lb. V2O5 per year.
“The hot springs facility will return the U.S. to a position of global leadership in the production of this critical and strategic material,” Terry Perles, a director on the board of U.S. Vanadium, states in a news release.
Brian Menell, chairman and CEO of TechMet Ltd., a major investor in U.S. Vanadium, notes that he expects to see “significant market growth over the coming years” for vanadium products with “growing demand from large-scale grid storage.”