Largo Resources (TSX: LGO) announced the launch of Largo Clean Energy, a newly formed company in the US state of Delaware whose focus will be on providing long-duration vanadium redox flow battery systems for the renewable energy storage market.
The vanadium for the batteries is to come from Largo’s 17,690-hectare Maracás Menchen mine located in the east-central state of Bahia, in Brazil.
The operation is expected to produce between 11,750 and 12,250 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide in 2020. From the raw material, Largo produces standard grade vanadium pentoxide, high purity vanadium pentoxide and high purity vanadium powder.
According to the miner, one of the objectives behind the creation of Largo Clean Energy is to open additional commercial and growth opportunities for its high purity vanadium products at attractive overall economics.
The new company will also work on commercializing VRFB technology that was previously owned by VionX Energy, a firm that had been involved in the renewable energy storage market since 2002.
“The acquisition of patented VRFB electrolyte processing technology along with the utilization of industry-leading flow battery stack design and supply of Largo’s reliable, high-purity vanadium has culminated in the formation of a uniquely positioned renewable energy storage business,” Paulo Misk, Largo’s president and CEO, said in a media statement.
“The patented VRFB technology and proprietary vanadium electrolyte processing system can deliver cost-competitive performance over a 20+ year life cycle with nominal degradation. In general, the VRFB is intrinsically safe with no fire risk from thermal runaway. Additionally, the contained vanadium electrolyte can be recycled for reuse in other VRFB installments at the end of the battery life.”
Despite the hopeful outlook, Misk recognized that the company’s revenues will continue to be largely driven by sales in the global steel industry and high purity aerospace and chemical markets.
“But as vanadium demand from global VRFB deployments expands in the coming years, we expect significant growth in the VRFB sector,” the executive said.