The global scramble for a little-known metal called vanadium is officially underway.
The metal, which when used in small amounts can help strengthen steel significantly, is in high demand following new Chinese regulations on infrastructure and buildings. The new rules, which came as a result of a 2008 earthquake that devastated part of China, are aiming to phase out the use of low strength steel in building projects, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The market for the metal is very small, with about 80,000 metric tons produced each year. Roughly 90 percent of that is used in small amounts in projects like bridges and skyscrapers. While two years ago it cost less than $5 per pound, it surged as high as $29 per pound last month.
Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and development of mineral projects in South Africa. It operates through three segments: Vanadium and Iron Ore, Coal Exploration, and Vanadium Mining and Production.