Ore processing plant in Finland set to boost vanadium production for Europe, with savings of up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 expected over 10 years compared to conventional mining

BERLIN and HELSINKI, March 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A joint venture backed by EIT RawMaterials in Finland between two Australian project development companies, Critical Metals Ltd and Neometals Ltd paves the way for a significant increase in the production of high purity vanadium in Europe for use in grid-scale vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB), specialty steel applications, and next-generation lithium vanadium cells. The Vanadium Recovery Project (VRP) targets a reduction of 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 ratios to atmosphere over 10 years compared to conventional mining. The VRP will have no waste streams and will set a new precedent for circular economy practices in metal processing.

Ore processing plant in Finland expected to boost vanadium production for Europe

The VRP, which will be located in Pori, Finland, will receive “slag” from local steel producers and recover some of the purest vanadium products in the world. This positions Critical Metals and Neometals on the verge of becoming a major producer of vanadium in Europe end of 2024. The VRP relies on a new proprietary hydrometallurgical process that results in no waste with by-products intended for use in the production of CO2 free cement.

Vanadium is an essential raw material according to the European Commission and has a higher energy density than other battery materials. It is quickly being recognized as an important addition to new lithium-ion cathode and anode chemistries used in electric vehicles as well as VRFBs used for long-term energy storage solutions from renewable sources. Currently, approximately 75% of the world’s supply of vanadium comes from China, South Africaand Russia.

With increased pressure to diversify the source of critical raw materials, the VRP positively demonstrates Europe commitment to securing its raw material supply chains and accelerating its energy dependence from fossil fuels to renewables.

Olli SalmiBaltic Sea Innovation Hub Director at EIT RawMaterials says: “Innovative projects like the vanadium recovery project in Pori, Finland show how circular economy approaches can have a substantial impact on the diversification of supply chains. Recovering metals and minerals from by-products in an environmentally friendly way will be a very important source of raw materials for Europe, in addition to sustainable mining projects. Therefore, we are delighted to be working with Critical Metals Ltd and Neometals Ltd to assess funding opportunities as this project enters the next phase. »

He adds: “Securing raw materials for Europe requires innovation and close collaboration with countries and regions that share our environmental and ethical standards. EIT RawMaterials is working with Australian companies, Neometals Ltd and Critical Metals Ltd, on a vital processing facility in Finland demonstrates EIT RawMaterials’ commitment to working with different countries to diversify Europe supply of raw materials.”

Darren TownsendDirector of Development at Neometals says: “We believe that within the next 10 years, vanadium will be the ‘new lithium’. We see many parallels between where the vanadium industry is today and where it was 10 years ago. We are delighted that EIT RawMaterials agrees with this assessment and continues to help us move this project forward quickly.”

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SOURCEEIT Raw Materials GmbH

Mary I. Bruner