NEW YORK Atlantic Ltd. plans to become "more active" in the North American vanadium market this year as the company ramps up its Windimurra Mine in Western Australia, according to a domestic sales agent.
The mine produced 15.6 tonnes of vanadium billet during the first quarter, Atlantic said, and so far this month some 30 tonnes of ferrovanadium have been delivered to the warehouse of Atlantics offtake partner, Hong Kong-based Element Commodities Ltd.
Terry Perles, president of Bridgeville, Pa.-based MoTiV Metals LLC, which has an agreement with Element Commodities to sell the material domestically, told AMM the company has sold mostly "truckload quantities" of vanadium in North America since material began arriving from Windimurra in the third quarter of 2012.
"Over the next few months, we expect to see deliveries of stock from Australia increasing into North America," Perles said. "I was at the mine just last week and things are looking very good with the ramp-up, so were anticipating becoming more active in North America."
Perles said pricing was currently "soft" in both the North American and European markets, which he attributed to "lower prices for Chinese exports."
Ferrovanadium was trading in a range of $14.90 to $15.15 per pound in the United States when markets were last assessed on April 11 (amm.com, April 12).
Meanwhile, the Windimurra Mine is undergoing modifications at the beneficiation plant within its crushing, milling and beneficiation (CMB) circuit, which are expected to be completed by June, Perth, Australia-based Atlantic said.
"With increased throughput, significant design and construction failures were highlighted with the beneficiation plant," the company said. "A detailed action plan to resolve these failures is now being implemented with an estimated topside cost of Australian $3 million ($3.1 million)."
Windimurra is expected to produce 6,300 tonnes of ferrovanadium (vanadium contained) per year when it reaches full production.