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Surefire Resources appoints CEO to guide WA vanadium project

New Surefire Resources chief executive officer Jan De Jager. Credit: File

Surefire Resources (ASX: SRN) has made a key boardroom addition to help guide its Victory Bore vanadium project in Western Australia’s Mid West region after appointing experienced finance specialist Jan De Jager as its new chief executive officer.

The company recently released an updated mineral resource estimate for Victory Bore of 465 million tonnes at 0.3 per cent vanadium oxide, 5.1 per cent titanium dioxide and 17.7 per cent iron. The figure includes 16.4 per cent aluminium oxide and 36.2 per cent silicon oxide.

De Jager, a chartered accountant, has held senior positions in the mining sector for more than 25 years, with roles in international business and leadership across several industries, including listed and non-listed companies within South Africa and Australia. He was appointed chief financial officer and joint company secretary of AVZ Minerals in April 2021 and has previously held the position as chief financial officer of Covalent Lithium prior to it being bought out by Wesfarmers.

Additional roles include general manager of treasury and reporting for Roy Hill Australia and general manager of finance at Xstrata Nickel Australia. He has also worked at Sasol Mining in South Africa where he was responsible for private equity deals and business restructuring.

The Board and I are delighted with the appointment of Mr De Jager and considers him to be a valuable addition to the Surefire team. He will greatly assist in aggressively progressing and advancing the Company’s key vanadium projects at Victory Bore and Unaly Hill, Perenjori Iron Ore, its Yidby Gold discovery and Kooline Silver-Lead project. Surefire Resources executive chairman Vladimir Nikolaenko

De Jager said he looked forward to the opportunity of driving Surefire’s operation to its full value and realising a substantial increase in value to its stakeholders from all of the company’s projects – particularly from its world-class vanadium deposit at a time when the sustainable production of critical minerals is needed now globally more than ever before.

In December last year, Surefire tabled an impressive prefeasibility study (PFS) for Victory Bore that quoted a pre-tax net present value (NPV) of $1.7 billion and a 42.2 per cent pre-tax internal rate of return (IRR) during a mine life of 24 years, with a payback of 2.4 years and a capital cost of $767 million.

In addition to its burgeoning vanadium operation, Surefire also holds the Perenjori magnetite project, the Yidby gold discovery and the Kooline silver-lead operation.

However, its primary focus remains on its flagship Victory Bore which is at the centre of a recent non-binding agreement with Saudi Arabian-based RASI Investment that allows both parties to explore a joint venture (JV) or co-developer structure to assist in potential downstream processing facilities for offtake from the project.

The company is assessing plans to produce up to six products from a processing facility in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia including high-purity vanadium pentoxide, ferrovanadium, pig iron, high-grade iron ore, high-purity iron oxide pigment and titanium slag … and that will give De Jager plenty to get his teeth stuck into.

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