Technology Metals joins Canberra-backed R&D centre to boost vanadium battery tech

Tue 30 Aug 22, 12:33pm (AEST)
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Key Points

  • Technology Metals will become a key investor in the Future Battery Industries’ Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC)
  • The move will allow the company to use the R&D centre to boost the productivity of vanadium battery tech
  • Vanadium from the company’s Murchison project will be used as feedstock

Technology Metals Australia (ASX:TMT) jumped 6% in morning trade as the company unveils its investment into the FBICRC, a Canberra-backed R&D centre focused on battery science, towards enhancing Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (VRFBs).

VRFBs are rechargeable batteries that use vanadium to store energy; other companies in the Vanadium space note the batteries can last for over 20 years and that Vanadium electrolytes can be reused, minimising waste streams. 

The non-flammable batteries are also marketed as providing superior energy release and supply. 

Investment to leverage success 

Technology Metals, and its vanadium electrolyte subsidiary vLYTE, are set to benefit from the collaboration with the FBICRC; as well as progressing the development of the Murchison vanadium project. 

“Society needs longer duration energy storage to reach net zero,” Technology Metals MD Ian Prentice said. 

“Vanadium electrolyte is a key component of a VRFB and as a porential downstream product of the Murchison project, knowledge gained through this [partnership with FBICRC] will enable the production of cost competitive, high-quality product.” 

FBICRC’s CEO Shannon O’Rourke was also focused on the future in supporting commentary. 

“By 2050, 70% of all renewable spend will be on batteries,” O’Rourke stated.

“Vanadium batteries are compact, durable, and infinitely recyclable, making them excellent for long duration storage.” 

Not just EVs

In July, Technology Metals revealed it was probing the use of vanadium in grid-scale Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESSies). 

Technology Metals wants to use vanadium metal from its Murchison Technology Metals Project (MTMP), in the form of vanadium electrolyte, to add to BESS assets in trial runs. 

Vanadium from Murchison will be sent to LE Systems’ laboratories in Japan as part of pre-existing collaborative agreements; investors ought to note the project itself is still awaiting full development decision. 

LE System will provide its expertise in creating vanadium electrolyte from the ore shipped from Murchison, where the company already owns a plant designed to make it.

Should that process be successful, the company will be able to use the expertise gained through FBICRC to apply LE System’s downstream product. 

Decision before 2023

An integration study commissioned by the company to assess the Murchison project noted the company could first sell Ilmenite into the market as the company fine tunes its vanadium aspirations; a full development decision is due by late December 2022.

Mine highlights were as follows:

  • Average annual earnings of $182m 

  • 25-year life of mine revenue of $8bn

  • Ilmenite production rate of 96,500tpa in first stage

  • Project valued at $942m 

  • Internal rate of return of 23%

Technology Metals' one year charts
Technology Metals' one year charts
Disclaimer: Market Index helps small-cap ASX listed companies connect with Australian investors through clear and concise articles on key developments. Technology Metals was a client at the time of publishing. All coverage contains factual information only and should not be interpreted as an opinion or financial advice.


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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