The RJC Vanadium Project is located in NW Queensland, approximately 440km west of Townsville between the towns of Richmond and Julia Creek, and comprises five wholly-owned EPMs covering a combined area of approximately 1,040km2 (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: RJC Vanadium Project - Location, regional geology and tenure
The acquisition of the RJC Vanadium Project is consistent with the Company’s strategy of exploring for battery-related metals that are needed for the future storage of renewable energies on small and large scales.
Vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB), which can be charged and discharged at the same time, are increasingly being recognised as potentially important contributors to the storage of renewable energy. In addition lithium-vanadium-phosphate batteries are seen as one of the more promising solutions for increasing the range of electric vehicles.
Vanadium’s current primary use is in the steel industry and an uplift in demand due the increasing use of VRFBs could see an increase in the price of the commodity which has been on a steady uptrend for the last year (Figure 2). A similar trend has already been seen for lithium which, until recently, the primary uses have not historically been for rechargeable batteries.
Liontown’s RJC tenements abut and partially incorporate very large (>3Bt) vanadium resources previously defined by Intermin Resources (see Intermin ASX releases dated 5th February 2007 and 12th March 2010) and include large areas of the host Toolebuc Limestone Formation. Significantly, Liontown’s tenure includes approximately one quarter of the resource area defined by Intermin for the higher grade Lilyvale resource.
There is good potential to increase the resources which are near surface and appear largely drill constrained.
Figure 2: Graph showing vanadium price for last 12 months (source SNL Services)
The following information is largely taken from Intermin’s ASX releases.
The Cretaceous Toolebuc Formation is a flat lying sediment about 100 million years old and consists of black carbonaceous and bituminous shale, minor siltstone with limestone lenses and coquinites. In the Project area, the Formation is draped over an interpreted basement high and has been structurally uplifted to the surface.
Previous exploration has focussed on the potential of the Toolebuc Formation to host economic quantities of hydrocarbons.
The resources previously estimated by Intermin relate to near surface mineralisation derived from the oxidation of the oil shale horizon.
At Lilyvale, Intermin reported that the mineralisation is contained in a continuous block up to 4km wide and 10-12m in thickness beneath 5-6m of overburden. The mineralisation is soft and would most likely be suitable for free digging.
There has been no fieldwork completed since 2013; however, prior to this there has been extensive drilling, resource studies and research into the beneficiation of the mineralisation and metallurgical recovery of vanadium and other metals (e.g. molybdenum).
Liontown will attempt to compile as much of this data as possible before planning the next phase of work.
A likely future focus will be the delineation of additional resources on Liontown’s wholly owned tenure.