Vanadium is a silver-gray metal used to make various metal alloys and particularly in the manufacture of ferrovanadium. Ferrovanadium is an alloy of vanadium and iron used in steel production. Recently, countries that produce vanadium have greatly benefited from infrastructure spending in China and around the world. Global economic recovery, coupled with the growing interest in vanadium redox batteries, could further drive the demand for the metal as well as increase its price.
This is despite the decline in the production of vanadium in the recent past. Data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that mined production of the metal declined from 80,000 metric tons in 2017 to 71,200 megatons in 2018, before increasing slightly to 73,000 megatons in 2019.
The vanadium redox flow battery is a rechargeable battery that utilizes vanadium ions to store chemical potential energy. Unlike other battery types, the vanadium redox battery provides almost unlimited energy capacity.
Below are the top countries in the world that produce vanadium.
The country’s total output of vanadium in 2017 hit 8,400 megatons, before declining steeply to 5,500 megatons in 2018. In 2019, its output of vanadium ore increased slightly to 7,000 megatons.
The country’s vanadium production is mainly attributed to Largo Resources, which considers to be the sole pure-play producer of the silver-gray metal. The Maracas Menchen vanadium project, which the company owns, is the highest-grade vanadium mine globally.
South Africa’s output of vanadium has been increasing in the last few years. In 2017, its output hit 13,000 megatons before dropping to 7,700 megatons in 2018 then increasing slightly to 8,000 megatons in 2019. Most of the country’s contribution to the vanadium market comprises of Glencore and Bushveld Minerals. The latter company’s vanadium-mining operation has three assets in the country’s Bushveld Complex.
Russia’s total production of vanadium in 2019 was 18,000 megatons, which is equal to its 2018 output. The country’s vanadium reserves are the second largest globally at 5,000 megatons. Evraz Lgok is the major mining company in Russia that produces the metal.
In 2019, China was the biggest producer of vanadium, with an output of 40,000 megatons. The country’s output exceeds the output of all the other countries that produce vanadium combined China is also the largest consumer of vanadium globally. This is despite the fact that its output of steel has decreased in the last few years.
The big four producers aside, companies such as Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) are making a name for themselves as notable producers of vanadium within the United States.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/UUUU
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