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QEM has raised $2 million to accelerate the development of its Julia Creek vanadium-oil project.

Managing director Gavin Loyden said the funds would allow QEM to complete ts oil and vanadium pilot plant, and for the subsequent six months of operations to validate strong extraction test results recorded to date.

“This comes at a time of strong vanadium pricing (USD$9.80/lb 98% V2O5 Flake) and the increasingly apparent need for grid support batteries if we are to complete our transition to renewable and carbon-free power generation,” he said.

The Juila Creek project hosts oil shale resources as well as vanadium – a critical mineral for the energy storage market through the use of vanadium redox flow batteries.

Mr Loyden said vanadium redox flow batteries had safety advantages over large scale lithium battery systems, as demonstrated by the recent Neoen battery fire in Victoria.

“Given vanadium redox batteries noncombustible and fully recyclable properties, we are excited to support this emerging technology and look forward to becoming a nationally significant developer of vanadium and oil,” he said.

The $2 million is being raised via a placement to new and existing institutional, sophisticated and professional investors.

In its announcement to the ASX, QEM said the vanadium market was expected to see continued tightness from rising global steel production and increased uptake of safe and scalable vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) suitable for grid scale energy storage.

“With a 2.76Bt JORC 2012 vanadium resource (220Mt indicated and 2,540Mt inferred, Table 1), QEM is well placed to leverage increased uptake of this emerging battery technology,” the company stated.

“In addition, the rising political importance of fuel security has greatly benefited the company’s plan to concurrently develop Julia Creek’s substantial oil resource (783MMBl 3C Contingent Oil Resource).”