Surefire Resources (ASX: SRN) appointed experienced vanadium executive Paul Burton as Managing Director in February this year, as the company seeks to develop its flagship Victory Bore project in Western Australia.
The Victory Bore project is in the Mid West region of Western Australia, and covers two prospect areas – Victory Bore and Unaly Hill – over an approximate 25-kilometre strike length.
A recent upgrade increased the Victory Bore project’s mineral resource estimate by 56 per cent to 321 million tonnes at 0.39 per cent vanadium pentoxide.
‘We already have a large exposed magnetite with a JORC Code–compliant resource, but our exploration target from the actual magnetic signature runs for 25 kilometres, placing it squarely in a world-class setting of vanadium resources,’ says Burton.
The exploration target estimate is 682 million tonnes to 1190 million tonnes at 0.2 per cent to 0.43 per cent vanadium pentoxide, with a total of 1003 million tonnes at 0.2 per cent to 0.39 per cent vanadium pentoxide, and 1511 million tonnes at 0.39 per cent to 0.43 per cent vanadium pentoxide.
Burton’s initial thoughts when invited to join Surefire were that it has a very large vanadium project, over which he could extend his vast vanadium experience gained over some 16 years in the industry.
‘I saw a big opportunity here for adding value – not only for shareholders, but also to use my experience and steer the project in the right direction,’ he says.
Vanadium is entering an interesting phase as technological developments establish it as an alternative energy element, particularly in China – which is the current world leader in the manufacture and use of vanadium redox batteries.
‘Our drive for Victory Bore is for it to become a source of feedstock for vanadium redox batteries,’ Burton explains.
‘We’re very confident we can extract vanadium electrolyte, which is needed to make these batteries,’ he says. ‘We have a very good business plan to meet that demand, and see vanadium redox batteries used in Australasia.’
Surefire Resources’ portfolio takes the company beyond the New World realm of vanadium, with significant holdings in traditional commodities of gold and iron ore.
Surefire has extensive mineralisation over a three-kilometre strike length of a mineralising system emerging at the Yidby Gold project, also in the Mid West of Western Australia.
‘At Yidby, we probably have a gold deposit in the making in an active greenstone belt that already hosts multimillion-ounce gold deposits,’ Burton says.
‘This discovery is currently over a three-kilometre strike length, so it has the potential be a very large deposit, and we are hitting very good grades close to surface.’
The Perenjori iron-magnetite project, still in the Mid West of Western Australia and just 219 kilometres from Geraldton Port, is high grade compared to other Western Australian magnetite projects, and can be upgraded to around 70 per cent iron concentrate grade.
‘Chinese and other steel mills are now trending away from traditional hematite towards using higher-grade magnetite iron because it is effectively greener and can produce a better-quality steel product,’ Burton says.