Speaking at the International Flow Battery Forum at the end of June, Jana Plananska of Norge Mining said Europe was dependent on China for vanadium, with 75% of imports coming into the EU from there. “There’s no native mining in Europe,” she said. “We need regulatory support of the EU’s critical minerals act, especially for planning and construction of production facilities, and an accelerated permitting process.”
The company said in terms of global vanadium mine production, China accounts for 62%, Russia 20%, South Africa 11% and Brazil 7%, making it a “highly vulnerable” supply chain.
Plananska said market demand is projected to grow rapidly: to 280,000 tons by 2030 from 112,000 tons in 2020. Demand will be driven by the flow battery sector, which is expected to represent up to 50% of vanadium demand by 2030.
The company was founded in 2018 and has exploration rights for over 70 billion tons of phosphate rock in southern Norway, which the company says are the largest phosphate rock reserves in the world. Vanadium mining is due to start in 2028, she said. Norge Mining’s feasibility planning results are expected by 2025.
The Norwegian government published a mineral strategy in June, based on five principles, including environmental sustainability, faster project implementation, use of private capital and international partnerships.