VBR’s Davis lifts investment in project billed as world’s “leading vanadium asset”

Mick Davis, founder, Vision Blue Resources

VISION Blue Resources (VBR) has invested a further $7m into a vanadium project located in southern Kazakhstan which the firm’s chairman, Mick Davis said had the potential to be the world’s leading deposit of the mineral.

The project’s owner Ferro-Alloy Resources will issue 22.3 million of its shares to VBR totalling $2.8m at a price of nine cents a share. A further $4.2m will be invested by way of the issue of convertible loan notes to Vision Blue.

This brings VBR’s total investment in Ferro-Alloy Resources to $10m as the firm looks to expand the scope of its feasibility of the Balasausqandiq vanadium deposit quicker than originally planned.

The feasibility study will now assess whether a second phase expansion of the project to four million tons per year of ore treated could be established. There was also a possibility for by-product production.

“I am increasingly convinced of the Balasausqandiq deposit’s potential to become the leading vanadium asset in the world,” said Davis in a statement. Vanadium would come under additional demand pressure as high-grade steel and flow battery production increased, the company said.

In February, VBR announced it had raised $60m for the development of battery metals. Of these funds, $29.5m would be invested in NextSource Materials, a company that has 100% ownership of the Molo graphite project in southern Madagascar.

The project is billed as “… one of the largest known and highest quality deposits” of flake graphite globally. The graphite could potentially be processed into secondary production at factory premises in South Africa.

Davis is a major bull in respect of the metals market.

Speaking at a conference in October, he said that mining companies were focused on returning cash to investors at the expense of investing in the next round of mining projects and mineral production required by global decarbonisation.