October 19, 2018 - 8:02 AM EDT
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Element 23: The Most Important Commodity You’ve Never Heard Of

Forget about lithium, last year’s “White Petroleum.” It’s about to be left in the dust.

The mineral of the moment is Vanadium…the key to the next energy revolution.

Analysts pegged it as the “metal to watch” in January. And they were right.

The price of vanadium has soared 300% in the past three years.

According to Bushveld Minerals’ CEO, vanadium was the best performing battery mineral of 2017.

It’s already a hot commodity for the steel industry…but that’s just the beginning.

The mineral is about to be in high demand, thanks to its role in a revolutionary new battery technology and the burgeoning steel industry in the U.S.

And one company is sitting on the only potential major U.S. deposit of Element 23: United Battery Metals (CSE:UBM, OTC:UBMCF)

UBMCF has only a $14 million market cap, but it’s sitting on a mineral deposit estimated to be worth $49 million when mined…and with Vanadium prices surging, that figure is expected to climb higher.

Why is it so important? Well, Vanadium is likely to displace lithium as the world’s most important battery metal.

That’s according to billionaire Robert Friedland, who says there’s a revolution coming in energy storage, and it’s all thanks to Vanadium.

Flow batteries, running on “liquid electricity,” are about to take the energy storage world by storm. They won’t replace the small battery lithium market. Instead, they’ll do the big job storage lithium batteries can’t do... and usher in the dawn of the LARGE battery market.

China is building the world’s largest battery using vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) tech. But the United States has no strategic reserve.

The White House has labeled Vanadium as a mineral crucial to national security. But there’s no domestic supply.

The U.S. could fall behind, but UBMCF (CSE:UBM, OTC:UBMCF) is trying to fill the gap…and make a fortune in the process.

Here are 5 reasons investors should take note.

#1 The Future of Energy

So, what’s so special about Vanadium?

One word: batteries.

Vanadium redox flow batteries, or VRFB, are about to become the foundation of energy storage.

They’re bigger and better, can hold more energy for longer, and can be scaled up to match any need.

Imagine batteries that can be produced in differing sizes to fit differing needs: from powering a car... to charging 50 cars simultaneously... to fueling a house... to producing enough energy to power a factory.

Robert Friedland, legendary mining billionaire and recipient of the 2017 Northern Miner’s Lifetime Achievement Award, knows vanadium is revolutionary, evolutionary and a technology dream come true.

“The beauty of the vanadium redox battery is that you can charge and discharge it at the same time, something that can’t be done with a lithium battery. With a vanadium redox flow battery, you can put solar power and wind power into the battery, and you can put excess grid power into the battery at night, and at the same time you can have a stable output into the grid.”


A study completed last year by the Imperial College London found that flow batteries beat out their lithium competitors: they would require an investment of only $4 billion to reach a level lithium could only reach after $94 billion.

That’s a better result by a factor of over 20.

Moreover, VRFBs are safer: unlike lithium, they aren’t prone to sudden catastrophic failures, leading to overheating or explosions.

It’s official: lithium has met its match.

And the demand for Vanadium is expected to skyrocket…which is why prices have been climbing all year, doubling since September 2017 and United Battery Metals (CSE:UBM, OTC:UBMCF) is positioning itself to benefit from the coming boom.

#2 Global Battle for Element 23

The power of vanadium is no secret. In fact, vanadium steel has been around for a while. Lighter and stronger than other metal alloys, it’s used in the manufacturing of complex components in airplanes, high performance cars and rocket engines.

Today, vanadium is found in 43% of cars. But by 2025, 85% of cars are projected to use vanadium steel components, thanks to their improved durability and lower weight.

So it’s already fulfilling a crucial role in the global economy. And the price has been steadily rising, 50% in 2018 and 300% in the last three years.

But Vanadium use is about to get a lot bigger, thanks to the surge in VRFB storage.

China is leading the way. It wants to launch multiple VRFB pilot projects, with 100 MW-scale VRFBs in place by 2020. This $500 million installation will triple China’s grid-connected battery storage capacity.

China has already started construction on the biggest battery in the world, a 200-MW 800-megawatt/ hour storage station in Dalian province. The battery will be charged with wind power and will utilize VRFB technology to store more power for longer, resulting in a stable energy grid without any fossil fuels or lithium.

Other countries are following China’s lead. India plans to install 50 solar parks with 500 MW capacity in the next several years. These parks, equal to 40 modern nuclear power plants, will need VRFB batteries to handle their colossal energy production.

The U.S. expects energy storage demand to increase 900% by 2023. Filling that much capacity will take a lot of Vanadium…but the U.S. has no strategic supply, and China is buying up the world’s supply at an astonishing rate.

As Mining.com puts it, it’s the metal “we can’t do without and don’t produce.”

To compete, the U.S. needs its own Vanadium supply. And that’s where United Battery Metals aims to come in…

#3 American Vanadium

United Battery Metals (CSE:UBM, OTC:UBMCF) is unique among American mining companies: it’s sitting on top of an estimated resource of 2,640,000 pounds of vanadium according to a report prepared in 2013 by Anthony Adkins who is a qualified professional geologist.

The company’s property at Wray Mesa used to be a uranium mine. At the height of the Cold War, the mine supplied the United States with precious uranium.

UBMCF’s mining team had a hunch. Where there’s uranium, there’s usually vanadium close by, as the two minerals tend to be found in close proximity.

At Wray Mesa, according to the previous 43-101 completed, there is an inferred resource of 500,000 lbs. of uranium with an estimated vanadium resource of 2,640,000 lbs.

According to one estimate, Vanadium is being found at a ratio of 6:1 or even 14:1.

The current estimated total deposit as per the previous 43-101 report could be huge, as big as 2.64 million pounds of vanadium, with a current market price of $50 million for mined product.

The company plans to further explore and hopes to significantly increase the size of the resource so the current 2,640,000 pounds could just be the starting point with blue-sky potential on the Wray Mesa.


But that’s just the beginning, based on previous efforts to uncover uranium. The UBMCF team has new exploration underway that focuses JUST on vanadium.

Plus, the area is exposed sandstone and should pose no challenge to experienced miners. All they need to do is dig a little to “scrape up” the exposed vanadium.

More than 700 holes have been dug by previous miners, and there’s plenty of local infrastructure in place to move the product to market with less than the usual extensive capex.

With prices climbing and demand sure to soar, the team at UBMCF is sitting on a gold mine.

#4 Team Vanadium

There’s a team at United Battery Metals (CSE:UBM, OTC:UBMCF) are ready to turn vanadium dreams into a reality.

President and CEO Matthew Rhoades is an accomplished professional geologist with thirty years of extensive experience in the US, Mexico, Canada and South America. He’s experienced in battery tech and lithium mining, having served as former state geologist of New Mexico.

Advisor Eric Saderholm is another mining professional with three decades of experience, and a man who has added millions of ounces of gold to reserve bases in Nevada, Washington and Peru.

Mr. Saderholm worked with Newmont Mining as their exploration manager for the entire western region of the USA. His skills and access to potential new properties add tremendous value to the company’s portfolio.

UBMCF (CSE:UBM, OTC:UBMCF) has a potential major find on their hands: what could possibly be one of the first productive vanadium mines in the United States.

And UBMCF arrived to the scene before the rising tide of interest in VRFBs becomes a tsunami.

#5 The Future is Already Here

Analysts have taken note: vanadium is no fad.

It’s about to completely upend the global battery market. Lithium, the “White Petroleum,” is about to be left with the leftovers.

There are powerful reasons to expect the vanadium market to surge in the coming months.

And UBMCF is one of the only companies in the U.S. positioning to supply domestic need.

Right now, the Chinese are leaps and bounds ahead in the VRFB race. They’re building the world’s biggest battery, the size of 20 soccer fields, and they want hundreds more just like it. The U.S.-Chinese trade war is heating up, and you better believe China will buy up all the Vanadium it can find.

The U.S. could miss out…but United Battery Metals (CSE:UBM, OTC:UBMCF) is working to meet American Vanadium needs. By 2020, the U.S. could be the largest vanadium market on the planet.


Even with all the vanadium buzz, the story around UBMCF has gone unnoticed.

This little company may be the only game in town when it comes to Vanadium mining, and its little market cap is sure to grow bigger and bigger if it starts mining the estimated 2.64 million pounds locked away at Wray Mesa.

This is the opportunity in energy that no one has seen coming…but it’s worth paying attention if you think about the future.

Other resources companies looking to take advantage of the next commodity boom:

Franco-Nevada Corporation (TSX:FNV) specializes in securing precious-metal streams, but the company also works in the oil and gas industry. With key assets in some of North America’s most desirable oil and gas plays, including Texas, Oklahoma and Alberta, it is clear that the company has amazing potential in the coming years.

Franco-Nevada’s diverse holdings make it a key company in tomorrow’s new energy revolution, and its latest investment with Minera Panama, a subsidy of First Quantum Minerals, according to a late-September announcement, is going smoothly, as well.

Enbridge, Inc (TSX:ENB), based in Canada’s oil sands capital Alberta, is an energy delivery company focusing on transportation, distribution, and generation of energy. Operating in the United States and Canada, Enbridge owns and operates the largest natural gas distribution network in Canada and the longest crude oil transportation system in the world. Founded in 1949, investors can feel confident in Enbridge’s experience and market know-how.

Though not strictly dealing in commodities, Enbridge’s diversified assets and connections to a variety of industries position the company as solidified player in many Canadian industries.

Despite some pipeline problems over the past year, Enbridge was recently given the OK by regulators to begin its Ohio-Michigan NEXUS natural gas pipeline project which will connect the Marcellus and Utica shale basins with customers in other parts of the United States and Canada.

Ballard Power Systems (TSX:BLDP) Ballard develops and produces hydrogen fuel cell products for markets such as heavy-duty motive, portable power, material handling and transportation. In addition to its production and development of fuel cell products, Ballard also holds over 2,000 patents/applications.

At the end of August, Ballard announced a huge divestment agreement, releasing non-core assets to Revision Military Ltd., for up to $16 million in cash to provide a hefty boost to its fuel cell business. CEO Randy MacEwen noted, "This divestiture is consistent with our strategy of continuous portfolio optimization. We decided to divest Protonex assets that are no longer aligned with Ballard's strategic fuel cell focus, while retaining assets related to the unmanned vehicle market, under the Ballard brand.”

Largo Resources (TSX:LGO) is another Canadian resource explorer diving into the vanadium industry. In addition to vanadium, Largo explores for iron, tungsten, molybdenum, chromite, palladium, and platinum group metals. It’s flagship project, the Maracás Menchen Mine, has been profitable for Largo, but its real potential lies in its new initiatives.

In early October, Largo announced new production results, in addition to a management shakeup. CEO Mark Smith noted, “With 7,235 tonnes of V2O5 produced so far this year, the Company is well positioned to achieve the upper end of its increased and revised 2018 guidance range of 9,150 to 10,150 tonnes of V2O5 produced for the full year."

Prophecy Developments (TSX:PCY) owns the Gibelinni project, another Nevada-based plot containing significant vanadium reserves. Prophecy, like First Vanadium and United Battery Metals, are trying to become America’s go-to vanadium producer.

Last week, Prophecy appointed a new President and CEO, Gerald Panneton, an expert geologist and businessman with years of experience in the field. Mr. Panneton noted, “I am very excited to join the Prophecy team to work on the Gibellini vanadium project in Nevada. The Gibellini project represents an excellent opportunity to be developed in the very near future, as it stands to be a low-cost producer due to its very low strip ratio, and a low-cost heap leach operation in the mining friendly state of Nevada.”

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Forward-Looking Statements

This article contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this article include that prices for vanadium will retain value in future as currently expected; that UBM can fulfill all its obligations to maintain its property; that UBM’s property can achieve drilling and mining success for vanadium, and potentially sell 2.7M pounds of vanadium; that the vanadium extraction process being developed will be cost effective; that the vanadium battery process can be commercialized for large scale production; that high grades found in samples are indicative of a high grade deposit; that vanadium prices will increase; that high-grade vanadium is in sufficient quantities to make drilling economic; that permits may be easier and quicker than usual because vanadium is considered a vital element for America; that batteries and EVs will start using large amounts of vanadium; that vanadium system costs will be reduced quickly and dramatically; and that UBM will be able to carry out its business plans. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include that the Company may not be able to finance its intended drilling programs, aspects or all of the property’s development may not be successful, mining of the vanadium may not be cost effective; even if mining is successful, UBM’s property may not yield 2.7M pounds of vanadium; UBM may not raise sufficient funds to carry out its plans, changing costs for mining and processing; permits may not be easier or quicker than regular mining projects; increased capital costs; the timing and content of upcoming work programs; geological interpretations and technological results based on current data that may change with more detailed information or testing; potential mineral recoveries assumptions based on limited test work with further test work may not be viable; competitors may offer cheaper vanadium; more production of vanadium could reduce its price, or the price may drop for other reasons; technological advances to reduce vanadium system costs may not occur as expected; alternatives could be found for vanadium in battery technology; the availability of labour, equipment and markets for the products produced; and despite the current expected viability of its projects, that the minerals cannot be economically mined on its properties, or that the required permits to build and operate the envisaged mines cannot be obtained. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.

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Source: Livemoney (October 19, 2018 - 8:02 AM EDT)

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