Rio De Janeiro: Canada’s Largo Resources Ltd opened Latin America’s first vanadium mine in Brazil and aims to produce 7.5 percent of global supply of the steel-making ingredient within a year.

With China producing more high-grade steel similar to standards in Europe and the United States, demand for vanadium has risen. Vanadium is added to steel in small quantities to make it stronger and more resistant to rust. Two pounds of vanadium added to a tonne of steel can double the steel’s strength.

Largo Resources hopes to take advantage of this trend in steelmaking to expand operations in Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia and capture as much as 40 percent of the vanadium market over the next decade.