Having been recognized by Henry Ford for its steel hardening properties for making cars, vanadium has made a huge comeback in 2018. Vanadium’s price rise in 2018 has been nothing short of spectacular. Prices in China have more than tripled over the course of 2018 on the back of new Chinese construction laws requiring vanadium to be used in steel rebar. The steel industry accounts for just over 90 percent of global vanadium usage. Given China’s dominance of global steel production, it’s no surprise the country is the single largest user of vanadium. Investors should also be aware there has been a little bit of recent price softening (to ~$27/lb) from vanadium’s early November peak, however this should be expected after such a spectacular rise.
China vanadium spot price
Prophecy Development Corp. (TSX: PCY) is developing the only large-scale, open-pit, heap-leach vanadium project of its kind in North America, at its 100% owned Gibellini project in Nevada, USA. Prophecy’s mandate is to seek vanadium properties that are in conflict free areas on the planet. Prophecy has no bank debt and has approximately 95 million shares outstanding.
The Gibellini Project and PEA
Gibellini has the largest NI 43-101 compliant measured and indicated primary vanadium resource known in the USA and is currently undergoing engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) preparation.
Prophecy’s 2018 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) reported a net present value (NPV) of $US338 million at a 7% discount rate, an internal rate of return (IRR) of 50.8%, life of mine (LOM) of 13.5 years, and 1.72 years payback; assuming an average vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) price of $12.73/lb, and OpEx of US$4.77/lb V2O5. Also most attractive is the small CapEx estimate of $116.76m. As of December 2018 the price is more than double the $12.73 per pound figure used in the PEA, sitting around $27 per pound, which of course means the economics right now are a lot better. Also of interest is the project breakeven V2O5 selling price of US$7.76/lb.
Recently appointed (October 10, 2018) President and CEO Gerald Panneton stated; “The Gibellini project represents an excellent opportunity to be developed in the very near future. I envision the Gibellini open pit project to have an excellent chance of expanding its resource base. I think it is definitely good timing to get involved in vanadium.”
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