China’s economy has been on shaky ground in 2015, and that’s played a big role in bringing down prices for steelmaking metals. As vanadium has heavy ties to the steel industry, it’s no wonder it’s had a less-than-stellar year.
Hopefully, the situation will turn around in 2016. Still, vanadium prices could stay at their current level for some time yet — as of the end of October, Metal Bulletin was reporting prices of $12.90 to $13.50 per pound for ferrovanadium and $2.50 to $3 per pound for vanadium pentoxide.
While investors wait for some more action in the market, they’ve been catching up on some light reading. Here’s a look at the Investing News Network’s (INN) five top vanadium articles of 2015.
Investors interested in vanadium are likely going to want to know where vanadium is found. Interestingly, the steel-strengthening metal occurs in over 100 different minerals and fossil fuel deposits around the world. In this article, INN looks at the geological formations that play host to large vanadium deposits. Countries currently producing from significant vanadium deposits include China, Russia and South Africa. Australia could also become a top producer, while Brazil and Peru also have potential.
In 2013, South African steelmaker Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium came under threat of collapse, threatening vanadium supply as a result. Investor interest returned to Evraz this year after it initiated “business rescue proceedings” in April.
As a result of the weak vanadium market, many companies have hit hard times. As mentioned, one of those companies is Evraz Highveld, which filed for “business rescue proceedings” this past April. The company lacked funding to meet its short-term obligations, and cited the weak global steel and vanadium market as the cause of its financial troubles.
That said, other companies have been faring better. Brazil-focused vanadium producer Largo Resources (TSXV:LGO) was looking into capital restructuring programs this year, while Bushveld Minerals (LSE:BMN) was moving ahead as planned.
In this article, INN briefly looks at vanadium deposits in Canada and the companies exploring them. Unfortunately, with the market being as difficult as it is, most of the vanadium exploration happening in Canada has ground to a halt.
This time last year, market players were somewhat optimistic about where vanadium was headed. Indeed, with many new products on the market, things were looking up. At the end of last year, Largo’s former CEO, Mark Brennan, speculated that prices for vanadium pentoxide would reach a bottom of around $5. Unfortunately, it’s now clear that his prediction did not come to pass.
Securities Disclosure: I, Vivien Diniz, hold no investment interest in any of the companies mentioned.