Vanadium has received a lot of attention in recent years, with increased demand from China and the emerging Vanadium Redox Flow Battery (VRFB) market. At present, China is the leading producer with an output of 43,000 MT annually, followed by Russia, South Africa, and Brazil. While those countries are the primary sources of vanadium, Canada hosts several untapped vanadium deposits, and junior resource exploration company Delrey Metals (CSE:DLRY) (OTCPK:DLRYF) is working to unlock this potential.
Delrey Metals has numerous vanadium projects throughout British Columbia, as well as the option to acquire 80% of the Newfoundland-based Four Corners Vanadium project, which is considered “one of the largest and most accessible vanadium projects in North America.”
Delrey Metals Advances Development of Four Corners
Delrey Metals’ flagship Four Corners project in southwestern Newfoundland and Labrador totals 7,655 hectares in size and is host to vanadium enriched titaniferous magnetite (iron) mineralization, which shows very encouraging historical evidence for significant vanadium accumulations across five main target zones.
The project also offers excellent infrastructure, low exploration and development costs, and has returned very encouraging metallurgical results for iron, vanadium, and titanium.
The company is developing the Four Corners Fe-Ti-V project at a time when iron ore and vanadium are in high demand. Iron prices recently hit a five-year high of $126 per tonne last summer, thanks to global supply shocks from iron mining giants. Meanwhile, the growing demand for vanadium redox batteries is expected to create a US$56 billion market by 2026, representing a 6.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Assay results from the project have revealed iron results that ranged from 19.16% iron oxide up to 48.61% iron oxide, with an average grade of 35.07%. At the same time, preliminary metallurgical tests at Four Corners also yielded positive vanadium recoveries over 90%.
In July 2019, Delrey Metals revealed its 2019 drill program, which involved drilling a total of 500 meters from 20 drill pads at the Keating Hill East Zone to test over 3.5 kilometers of strike length. The company also conducted follow-up prospecting and sampling at Four Corners, Bullseye, and Keating Hill West, along with the newly discovered Keating Hill North Zones, and late-season drilling on the most-promising targets.
Delrey Metals and Its Promising Vanadium Projects
The Four Corners project is very promising indeed, but it isn’t the only vanadium project Delrey Metals has under its belt.
In December 2018, the company acquired BC Vanadium Corp., along with its two BC-based vanadium projects, Porcher and Star. The two projects cover a total area of 16,654 acres and host vanadium mineralization within large bodies of titaniferous magnetite.
Delrey strengthened its project portfolio further when it acquired Western Energy Metals, gaining two more BC-based vanadium projects. The Peneece and Blackie properties cover a total area of 2,714 hectares and are strategically located on tidewater near Port Hardy and Prince Rupert.
In May 2018, the company released very positive results from a Phase II prospecting program at the Star, Porcher, and Blackie properties, where a total of 125 rock samples revealed assays returning as high as 0.513% vanadium pentoxide, 49.3% iron, and 4.01% titanium.
The prospecting program focused on the strongest magnetic anomalies at the three properties, which were mapped out during Phase I airborne magnetic surveys, which took place a month prior. The surveys outlined sizeable magnetic anomalies and allowed the company to increase the size of the Porcher property from 3,122.16 to 3,525.46-hectares, and the Star property from 3,646.8 to 4,618.3-hectares.
Investors who are interested in the vanadium space will want to keep an eye out for the results from Delrey’s 2019 drilling program at the Four Corners Project, as well as the outcome of the company’s late-season drilling.
The vanadium price took a hit in 2019 after a surge in 2018 that sent the price soaring to heights not seen in over a decade. Unfortunately, the strong correlation between vanadium prices and vanadium mining stocks caused Delrey’s share price to decrease in 2019.
In the last year, the company’s stock decreased from C$0.25 down to C$0.02 amid market uncertainty. If the vanadium price makes a much-needed comeback in 2020, Delrey Metals’ share price could also bounceback this year.
Featured Image: Delrey