Vanadium is a medium-hard, steel-blue metal. Although a lesser-known metal, it is quite valuable in the manufacturing industry due to its malleable, ductile and corrosion-resistant qualities.
Vanadium rarely exists as a free element in nature but can be found in about 65 different minerals, including magnetite, vanadinite, carnotite and patronite. It also can be found in phosphate rock and some crude oils. Vanadium is usually obtained by heating crushed ore in the presence of carbon and chlorine to produce vanadium trichloride, which is then heated with magnesium in an argon atmosphere, according to Jefferson Lab.
Ferro-Alloy Resources Limited (LON:FAR) is developing the giant Balasausqandiq vanadium deposit in Kyzylordinskaya oblast of southern Kazakhstan. The ore at this deposit is unlike that of nearly all other primary vanadium deposits and is capable of being treated by a much lower cost process.