- Vanadium processing carbon emission reduction strategy for a sustainable future
AVL’s green hydrogen strategy includes:
- Use of hydrogen in ore reduction process
- Introducing hydrogen into the natural gas pipeline
- Transportation – from minesite vehicles through to haulage trucks
- Use of hydrogen ammonia byproduct material in vanadium processing
Expression of Interest submitted to the Government of Western Australia for the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area – Renewable Hydrogen opportunity
Negotiations underway with key market participants in the hydrogen sector
Australian Vanadium Limited (ASX: AVL, “the Company” or “AVL”) provides this overview of its development of a green hydrogen strategy with resultant carbon emission reduction potential.
The mining industry has been making considerable steps towards a clean energy future in the past few years, with companies such as Sandfire Resources with its DeGrussa minesite solar plant and Gold Fields with the installation of one of the world’s largest hybrid microgrids at the Agnew operation and a hybrid energy project at their Granny Smith minesite.
In addition to electrification, carbon emissions are being reduced through a growth in the green hydrogen market. Green hydrogen is produced by using an electric current, generated by a renewable energy source such as solar PV or wind, to break water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Managing Director, Vincent Algar comments, “The use of green hydrogen could allow AVL to reduce its carbon footprint and leverage both the economical and environmental benefits of this growing market. The green steel opportunity is one that WA should particularly embrace, with the potential for many jobs to be created and a globally competitive steel industry. This strategy can assist with environmental approvals and in attracting finance partners with an environmental, social and corporate governance focus, for AVL to bring the Australian Vanadium Project into production.”
The Australian Vanadium Project (“the Project”) is located approximately 40km south-east of Meekatharra and 740km north-east of Perth.
The proposed Project includes open pit mining, crushing, milling and beneficiation at the Meekatharra site and a processing plant for final conversion to high-quality vanadium pentoxide for use in steel, specialty alloys and battery markets, to be located at a site at Tenindewa, between Mullewa and Geraldton (see Figure 1).
AVL’s strategy to incorporate hydrogen into the Project includes the following areas:
- Introducing a percentage of green hydrogen into the natural gas feed for the processing plant. The purpose of this is to reduce carbon emissions. This will be analysed fully in the Company’s Bankable Feasibility Study.
- Offtake of ammonia from green hydrogen production for use in the final vanadium precipitation step of processing. The CSIRO is working on an ARENA, (the Australian Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency), funded project to develop a production process that does not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
- Powering minesite or haulage vehicles to move material from the minesite to the processing plant with green hydrogen. Hydrogen generation could be undertaken at the minesite and at the processing plant for refueling. This is a new area of development for Australia and will need to be fully assessed for its financial implications. AVL is keen to work with the Federal and State Governments and haulage companies who have a forward plan for this technology.
- To support the Government of Western Australia’s plans for a green hydrogen economy, AVL has submitted a formal response to the request for expressions of interest for the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area Renewable Energy Strategy. Having a Project located in the Mid-West region, with a variety of ways for AVL to incorporate green hydrogen means that the Company is well-positioned to leverage the emerging hydrogen economy and its financial and environmental benefits.
The use of green hydrogen for steel production in the ore reduction step. AVL is seeking partnerships with companies interested in this area as it would be a noble and efficient use for the Fe-Ti coproduct that the Company plans to produce.Through AVL’s 100% owned subsidiary, VSUN Energy, integrating hydrogen electrolysers in plant design, combined with energy storage utilising vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) technology.
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