Atlantic Ltd. will look to expand the suite of products it
offers from its 100-percent owned Windimurra vanadium project,
chairman and managing director Michael Minosora told
AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.
The company is currently focused
on ferrovanadium production, he said, although the nature of
the facility at Windimurra also allows it to produce vanadium
pentoxide and vanadium trioxide relatively easily.
Atlantic is also looking to
produce a material equivalent to Evraz Group SAs
proprietary Nitrovan, produced by its Evraz Vametco (Pty) Ltd.
subsidiary in South Africa, or vanadium nitride.
"Were seeing many
(vanadium producers) reporting lower production numbers over
recent quarters, but the demand side remains firm," he
This has been reflected by a
marked increase in ferrovanadium and vanadium pentoxide prices,
especially at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.
Since the beginning of January,
Metal Bulletins quote for both ferrovanadium and
vanadium pentoxide has risen by about 14 percent while
AMMs U.S. ferrovanadium price rose to $14.50 to
$14.90 per pound Jan. 24 from $13.50 to $14.50 per pound
amm.com, Jan. 25).
"Based on our levels of inquiry,
I have every reason to believe those high prices will continue
to firm and at a faster rate in the coming months," Minosora
said, noting that Atlantic hasnt entered into any offtake
agreements at Windimurra and is unlikely to do so in the future
due to the strength of the spot market.
Meanwhile, frame contracts are
outmoded and could become a thing of the past as the vanadium
market continues to change shape, Minosora said. "We need a
model that more accurately reflects the risk and reward
position for both producers and consumers."
The iron ore market, for
example, has moved away from this model, and toward a "free
market" style of trading.
The best move, he said, would be
to take two different approaches based on who the end consumer
For mainstream consumers, like
steel mills, using the spot market to pick up the necessary
supply would be best, Minosora said. But for more niche players
that produce specialist alloys, the use of fixed, long-term
commitments would be best.
Minosora forecast an increase of
8 to 12 percent this year in demand for vanadium products.