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Location of Horizon Minerals’ Lilyvale vanadium project and Richmond lease areas. Source: Horizon Minerals

Horizon Minerals is set to complete a pre-feasibility study of the Richmond-Julia creek vanadium project in Queensland after receiving prospective drilling results from the site’s Lilyvale deposit.

The updated independent mineral resource estimated for Lilyvale is at 560 million tonnes grading at 0.48 per cent vanadium oxide for 2.6 million tonnes at a 0.30 per cent lower grade cut-off.

The Richmond-Julia Creek project, which houses the Lilyvale mineralisation, is a joint venture between Horizon Minerals and unlisted Richmond Vanadium Technology (RVT) in 2017.

RVT completed a drilling program on the Lilyvale deposit last year, which included 333 aircore holes, including typical significant intercepts of nine metres at 0.69 per cent vanadium oxide from two metres.

The project’s updated global mineral resource estimate is 1.8 billion tonnes grading at 0.36 per cent vanadium oxide for 6.7 million tonnes vanadium oxide at a 0.30 per cent vanadium oxide lower grade cut off.

The Lilyvale deposit has a shallow mineralisation from surface to 15 metre depth, which reduces the site’s environmental and financial impact during mining.

Under the joint venture, RVT will earn up to 75 per cent by spending $6 million to March next year, which indulges a feasibility study.

The project’s pre-feasibility study, which is set to complete this month, will focus on commercial evaluation and ore reserve generation. It is expected to be released in the September quarter.

According to Horizon managing director Jon Price, the project holds significant opportunity to meet global demand for the steel and energy storage markets.

“Infill drilling at Lilyvale has demonstrated the improved scale and quality of the resource that can be readily upgraded on site for conventional downstream processing,” he said.

“Lilyvale alone can provide globally significant electrolyte and flake product to meet the increasing demand for both the steel and emerging energy storage markets.

“We look forward to the completion of the commercial evaluation as part of the feasibility study.”