Shares in Vancouver vanadium junior tank after securities probe

Shares in Vanadiumcorp Resource Inc (CVE:VRB) slumped Tuesday after the company announced the preliminary economic assessment for its flagship Lac Doré project in Quebec is being reviewed by regulators.

During lunchtime trade the Vancouver-based junior was exchanging hands for $0.14, down just shy of 10 % on the TSX Venture Exchange, in higher than usual volumes. The microcap is now worth $32.5 million after a 32% year to date gain.

The vanadium price has soared more than 130% in the past year, outperforming better-known battery components like cobalt, lithium and nickel

In a statement Vanadiumcorp said the Lac Doré PEA filed on SEDAR on December 28th, 2017 is currently under review by the British Columbia Securities Commission "to clarify disclosure pertaining to qualified persons and market data":

"As such, the current economic analysis and mineral resources are not supported by a compliant NI 43-101 technical report, contrary to NI 43-101, and that the estimates should not be relied on until they have been verified and supported by a technical report."

Vanadiumcorp said it will amend and refile the PEA for the 100%-owned project once it receives further clarification.

According to the company's website the Lac Doré project spans over 45 square km and is close to the mining center of Chibougamau in Quebec.

The current NI 43-101 vanadium resource measures 621m lbs V2O5 from VTM concentrate grading 1.08%. Mineralization surface that is open at depth and along strike with nearby infrastructure such as road, rail, 161Kv power, workforce, water and a local airport.

The project is adjacent to mineral claims fully permitted for mineral extraction owned by Blackrock Metals which is also targeting VTM concentration on site according to Vanadiumcorp.

Vanadium price vaults

The vanadium price has soared more than 130% in the past year, outperforming better-known battery components like cobalt, lithium and nickel.

What's driving prices is tightening supply and strong orders from the steel industry, which accounts for 90% of demand today.

But in the future, analysts are expecting a shift in uses of vanadium. The metal can also be used in industrial-scale batteries, which help to even out daily peaks and troughs from renewables like wind energy.

Currently, the dominant form of energy storage is lithium-ion technology, but there are advantages to vanadium-flow batteries. They last longer and can be charged and discharged repeatedly without any significant drop in performance. They are also easy to recycle and good for projects where space isn't an issue.

(Bloomberg contributed to this article)