Vanadium (V)

Vanadium plays an important role in industrial manufacturing for a variety of applications due to its strength and ductility, including in steel alloys, as a catalyst for sulfuric acid manufacturing, glass and ceramic production, and in vanadium redox and lithium-vanadium-phosphate batteries. Vanadium can be found in more than 60 minerals, but is typically mined from vanadium-bearing iron-oxide deposits such as vanadiferous titanomagnetite, in sandstone-hosted deposits, carbonaceous sediments, and shales (Kelley and others, 2017).

Vandium properties from the periodic table

In Wyoming, vanadium was produced historically as a by-product of uranium production, primarily from surface pit mining operations. Uranium-mining operations in Wyoming that employed in-situ recovery (ISR) processes did not have accompanying vanadium production. Recovery methods to produce vanadium by ISR are being researched and tested globally. Vanadium is also known to occur in some heavy oils; this type of occurrence in Wyoming remains unexplored. Additionally, the USGS conducted multiple investigations into vanadium-bearing beds in the Phosphoria Formation in western Wyoming, estimating 45 million tons of indicated reserves with vanadium concentrations 0.7–1.6 percent V2O5 . Further information can be found in the USGS publication Vanadium Deposits in the Lower Permian Phosphoria Formation, Afton Area, Lincoln County, Western Wyoming. Mining operations in the 1970s extracted vanadium from this region, in addition to selenium, uranium, phosphate, and molybdenum.


Patty Webber,