Ferro-Alloy Resources Ltd (LON:FAR) grew production strongly in the first half of 2020 and it has stepped up another level in the second half.

Some 98 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide were unearthed in the first six months of the year by the Southern Kazakhstan miner, up 38% on the same period a year ago in spite of coronavirus and power interruptions at its Balasausqandiq mine.

The London main market-listed company shipped 109.2 tonnes compared with 79.6 tonnes a year ago, but total revenues of US$1.1mln were precisely flat because of low market prices.

The group made a net loss before and after tax of US$1.7mln compared to a loss of US$1.3mln last time.

Ferro-Alloy had cash of US$0.4mln at the end of June and borrowings in the form of bonds of US$0.3mln, though in the second half equity and bond fundraisings have raised another £1.23mln.

This has coincided with a sharp increase in production in the first two months of the third quarter, with an average of 35 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide produced per month compared with an average production of 16.3 tonnes per month in the first half of the year.

The company said further increases are expected to come in the remainder of the financial year and beyond. 

It also aims to have a dissociation oven completed by the end of the year, which will enable the production of vanadium pentoxide powder and eliminate the discount which applies to the current production of ammonium metavanadate (AMV), in which form the company currently exports. 

Earlier this month, the company also said it had developed technology for the production of electrolyte for vanadium flow batteries, which it said cuts out the cost of conversion of AMV to vanadium pentoxide from which electrolyte is usually made, giving the company not only the required know-how to enter this market, but also a cost advantage over traditional processes.