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The Gibellini project  |  Production plan
Location and geology
The Gibellini property is located in Eureka County, Nevada, about 27.5 miles south of the town of Eureka. The property is situated on the east flank of the Fish Creek Range in the Fish Creek Mining District and is easily accessed by dirt road extending westward from US Highway 50. The property is approximately 3,397 acres (1,374 hectares)  and contains the Gibellini Hill and Louie Hill deposits.
The Gibellini vanadium deposits occur within an allocthonous fault wedge of organic-rich siliceous mudstone, siltstone, and chert, which forms a northwest trending prominent ridge. These rocks are described by Noranda as thin bedded shales, very fissile and highly folded, distorted and fractured (Condon, 1975). In general, the beds strike north-northwest and dip from 15 to 50° to the west. Outcrops of the shale are scarce except for along road cuts and trenches. The black shale unit which hosts the vanadium resource is from 175 to over 300 feet thick and overlies gray mudstone. The shale has been oxidized to various hues of yellow and orange up to a depth of 100 feet.
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Mineralization and deposit type
In the oxidized zone, complex vanadium oxides occur in fractures in the sedimentary rocks including metahewettite (CaV6 O16 —H2O), bokite (KAl3 Fe6 V26 O76 —30H2O), schoderite, and metaschoderite (Al (PO4) (VO4)—6-8H2O). In the unoxidized sediments, vanadium occurs in organic material (kerogen) made up of fine grained, flaky, and stringy organism fragments less than 15 microns in size.
Other workers found vanadium mineralization to occur within manganese modules (psilomene family) in the shale.  XRD mineralogy work by SGS Lakefield Research in Ontario, Canada reported the occurrence of the vanadium mineral fernandinite (CaV8 O20 -– H2O).  Other minerals reported to occur at Gibellini are marcasite, sphalerite, pyrite, and molybdenite.

The top 100 to 120 feet of the Gibellini vanadium deposit is oxidized, producing various orange, pink, and purple vanadium oxide minerals.  Vandadium grades in the oxide zone are generally higher than in the unoxidized zone but lower than in the transition zone. Below the oxidized zone is the transition zone (mixed oxidized and unoxidized rocks), which typically contains the highest grades in the deposit.  An unoxidized zone underlies the transition zone and typically is lower in vanadium grade than the oxide and transition zones.
Development progress
A scoping study initiated by AMEC in May of 2008 at the request of American Vanadium was completed in October of 2008. Results of the study have been used to guide project development and define the scope of the feasibility study. Complete results of the study can be viewed in PDF format by clicking here.
Highlights are below:
Description Base case Mine Plan
Annual tonnage, short tons 2 million 3 million
Mine operator RKY RKY
Process Heap leach Heap leach
Product Vanadium pentoxide Vanadium pentoxide
Mine life 9.5 years 5.7 years
Annual product 8.4 million lbs V2O5 14.0 million lbs V2O5
Capital cost $88 million $94 million
Operating cost, $/short ton $14.36 $13.36
Operating cost, $/lb V2O5 $3.06 $2.97
After Tax IRR 27% 40%
Dawson Metallurgical Laboratories performed testing on samples from the Gibilleni deposit to support the scoping study. Column leach tests, performed to simulate heap leaching results, indicated vanadium recovery of 60% for oxide, 70% for transition, and 52% for sulfide.
For purposes of the scoping study AMEC utilized a price regression model to predict the price of vanadium pentoxide. This model included a projected long term price for vanadium pentoxide of $5.90 per pound.  Strong price increases for vanadium in the future demonstrate the potential price upside.
American Vanadium commissioned an NI 43-101 report on the Gibellini project that identified the following mineral resource:
  Domain V2O5
(% cut-off grade)
(lbs. x1,000)
Indicated Oxide 0.160 6,487 0.26 34,389
Transition 0.137 8,679 0.43 73,932
Sulfide 0.184 2,844 0.24 13,882
Total Indicated     18,010 0.34 122,236
Inferred Oxide 0.160 875 0.24 4,137
Transition 0.137 1,801 0.31 11,098
Sulfide 0.184 164 0.24 772
Total Inferred     2,839 0.28 16,006
To view the NI 43-101 Technical Report as prepared by AMEC E&C Services and dated October 8, 2008, click here to open in PDF format.
Further information
To view the Scoping Study as prepared by AMEC E&C Services and dated October 2, 2008, click here to open in PDF format.
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