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Technology Metals locks in gas supply for WA project

ASX-listed Technology Metals has signed an agreement with energy infrastructure company, APA Operations, to start work on the Gabanintha gas pipeline. The proposed pipeline is less than half the length originally proposed, which should result in lower gas transportation charges. The pipeline will allow an option to source gas from the emerging Perth Basin.

The Gabanintha gas pipeline development was originally outlined in a 2020 memorandum of understanding between the two companies.

In addition to the early works, the agreement also provides a framework for further negotiations on additional contracts required for the work.

The gas pipeline is designed to come from a point east of Mt Magnet as a spur off the major Northern Goldfields Interconnect, or “NGI” pipeline, that is currently being constructed by the APA Group. The NGI is viewed as a key piece of infrastructure for Western Australia, further supporting mining and industrial development in the Mid West and Goldfields regions.

Significantly, the proposed pipeline is less than half the length originally proposed in the feasibility study, which should result in lower gas transportation charges than previously expected. It also provides optionality to source gas from the emerging Perth Basin via the NGI that may further reduce the project’s gas costs.

The company’s Murchison Technology Metals project, or “MTMP”, is 40km south of Meekatharra in WA and takes in the Gabanintha and Yarrabubba vanadium deposits that collectively deliver a resource of 146.2 million tonnes grading 0.8 percent vanadium pentoxide.

The Gabanintha deposit was the subject of a Definitive Feasibility Study as a standalone vanadium development project and the satellite Yarrabubba deposit offers higher vanadium in concentrate grades in addition to a highly sought-after titanium co-product, making it an attractive addition to the project.

Technology Metals believes the MTMP will be a long-term, low-cost stable producer of high purity vanadium, a critical mineral playing a vital role in the efficient and effective deployment of renewable energy and reduction of emissions.

The company plans to use natural gas as the primary heating energy source in the rotary kiln and other parts of the process circuit. Gas will also be used as part of a hybrid electricity generation supply that is also expected to include renewable energy generation and battery storage.

The works to be completed by APA Operations under the agreement will focus on access for the proposed pipeline corridor, including preparation of licences, initial engineering design and preparation for procurement of long lead items. It is expected the early works will be completed this year to ensure that the construction of the pipeline is completed in line with the proposed MTMP development schedule.

In addition to the provision of the early works, the agreement also sets out a framework for negotiations between APA Operations and the Company on further agreements required for pipeline’s progress.

This is a major step in the development of TMT’s MTMP – providing certainty around the infrastructure to supply gas for the sites processing and hybrid power generation. Getting the early works underway now means we greatly de-risk APA’s delivery of the infrastructure and ensure we have gas to site when we need it for commissioning.

The progression of the early works by APA for the pipeline is a key component of Technology Metals’ growth strategy to advance the Murchison vanadium project, and the company expects the gas pipeline will provide energy certainty for what its hopes will be the world’s next large-scale primary vanadium mine.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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