QEM Limited (ASX:QEM) Executive Director & CEO, David Fitch and GM & Chief Geologist, Scott Drelincourt discuss the company’s Julia Creek vanadium and oil shale tenements in NW QLD, drill results and strategy.
Rachael Jones: Hello. I'm Rachael Jones for the Finance News Network. Joining me today from QEM (ASX:QEM) is Executive Director and CEO, David Fitch, and Chief Geologist and General Manager, Scott Drelincourt. David and Scott, welcome back to FNN.
David Fitch: Thank you.
Scott Drelincourt: Thanks Rachael.
Rachael Jones: Now David, QEM is developing a vanadium/oil shale project in Queensland. How's this going?
David Fitch: It's going really well, Rachael. We're in Northwest Queensland, as you said. We're at 16 kilometres outside of Julia Creek, beautiful spot in Queensland. We have four tenements comprising of approximately 250 square kilometres, and we're focusing on both the hydrocarbons and vanadium for our project.
Rachael Jones: So now David, let's talk about vanadium. Where is it used?
David Fitch: Predominantly, it's used in steel strengthening, and we've seen the occurrence of that and increases in vanadium use out of China with their rebar changes. Also, it's used in high-strength alloys, it's used in aircrafts, and also, obviously, the emerging market being VRB batteries for energy storage.
Rachael Jones: David, what's the price outlook on that?
David Fitch: Rachael, we've seen the prices at as high as USD$34 a pound back in December, 2018, currently sitting at $8.50 a pound, approximately, as we speak. We believe that's a good thing for the emerging VRB energy storage market. We think the price needs to be at that USD$10-12 longterm in order to give that market the best chance of longterm success.
Rachael Jones: Thanks, David. Now, over to you, Scott. Since listing late last year, the company has been very busy with its Julia Creek project. What can you tell me about what's been happening there over the last 12 months?
Scott Drelincourt: Yes, we've been very active. We've been granted a new tenement, which now adds to the Julia Creek project. We have done 26 kilometres of 2D seismic cross all the project. We've also completed five drill holes. The material for that is being used in processing studies, and the results are also being put into the geological model. As of today, we now have a new resource upgrade of 2.76 billion tonnes. Of that, 220 million tonnes is now in the Indicated category.
Rachael Jones: Thanks Scott. Back to you again, David. What can investors expect in terms of news flow over the next 12 months?
David Fitch: Rachael, we're very keen to fast-track the project towards a feasibility study. We've got exploration results that we intend to release over the coming 12 months. On top of that, we're doing metallurgical work, processing studies, and we hope to keep the market fully informed as soon as possible.
Rachael Jones: To the last question now, David. Where would you like to see the company in 12 months from now?
David Fitch: We've always got a very keen focus on delivering outcomes, so we would like to have the company in the position to understand completely our ore body and what are the best processes we can use, and to have a commercial position where we can have some direction to move forward at a rate of knots in order to get the project into production.
Rachael Jones: David Fitch and Scott Drelincourt, thanks so much for the update today.
David Fitch: Thank you.
Scott Drelincourt: Thanks for having us.