Visual identification of magnetite, or magnetite-bearing gabbro, in diamond core and reverse circulation (RC) chips from the drilling further confirmed the series of magnetite layers below surface.
Magnetite is well-established as the host rock for the vanadium mineralisation at SPD and many of the recently drilled holes are close to historic holes containing high-grade vanadium oxide.
Tando managing director Bill Oliver said the drilling program had so far met or exceeded the company's expectations.
He said: "The visuals from these holes are highly encouraging, particularly given their strong correlation with historic drilling results.
"An example of this is the high-grade results from VRC001.
"We are now looking forward to receiving the remaining assays and calculating our maiden JORC resource.
"And while this is happening, we will be drilling at the nearby vanadium pipes to test their potential to host a low-cost DSO operation."
High-grade vanadium assays
The phase I drilling program targeted the SPD deposit which has a resource of 513 million tonnes at 0.78% vanadium oxide under the SAMREC code.
High-grade results from the first hole were reported last week.
They include: 7 metres at 0.84% vanadium from 3 metres; and 9 metres at 1.12% from 73 metres, including 2 metres at 1.61%, within a wider interval of 35 metres at 0.66% from 47 metres.
A diamond drill rig is preparing to test surrounding high-grade vanadium pipes to potentially support a direct shipping ore operation.
Phase II drilling will begin shortly with a second diamond rig and an RC rig aiming to upgrade the maiden JORC resource to an indicated category, provided results are as anticipated.
The second phase program is designed to drill 58 holes for 5,550 metres.
Both phases and the resource estimate is forecast to cost $1.4 million and Tando is fully-funded for the drilling programs as well as metallurgical and mining studies to be undertaken post-drilling.