A consistent high-grade zone of over 1.2% vanadium was identified along strike of the existing measured and indicated resources, supporting the ongoing mineral resource update.
The recently completed 1,089-metre drilling program consisted of reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling as well as geotechnical work, including 10 televiewer surveys over new and existing holes.
Results will be used in the project’s pre-feasibility study (PFS) which aims to define a low-risk, low-cost process for production of high-purity vanadium products.
Highlighted intersections include: 17 metres at 1.03% vanadium and 61.9% iron from 38 metres, including 7 metres at 1.29% vanadium from 41 metres; 17 metres at 1.14% vanadium and 66.5% iron from 81 metres, including 10 metres at 1.28% from 82 metres; and 12 metres at 1.12% vanadium and 68.5% iron from 47 metres, including 8 metres at 1.24% from 48 metres.
All drill holes in the program intersected the massive magnetite layer which is the basis of Gabanintha’s economic studies and currently supports a mineral resource estimate of 93 million tonnes at 1% vanadium.
The magnetite layer averages 14 metres in thickness and intersections in 10 of 11 holes graded over 1.2% vanadium.
Drilling in 2011 intersected high-grade zones – greater than 1.2% vanadium over 3 metres or more – in the same area in four of 11 holes.
AVL managing director Vincent Algar said the program had delivered significant information to help finalise the PFS.
He said: “This includes vital geotechnical information as well as additional confirmation of our mineralisation’s tenor and geometry.
“It also demonstrates the benefit of having significant strike length under our control, enabling us to quickly add high-quality, low-risk resources for minimal outlay, to feed the planned operation.
“Further drilling of blocks to the south are planned as we steadily grow AVL’s Gabanintha project into an unassailable position as the world’s next vanadium producer.”
The company appointed geotechnical consultants Dempers & Seymour to manage the geotechnical requirements of the pit design being using in the PFS.
Results from the drilling achieved several PFS goals including: geotechnical data to optimise pit slope angles; advanced downhole telemetry to resolve structural domains at depth; and increasing resolution of oxide, transitional and fresh mineralisation boundaries.
The drilling also extended the drilled strike at Gabanintha by 700 metres, enlarging the development area to 3 kilometres out of 11.5 kilometres available for resource extension.
Detailed analysis to maximise economic returns and reduce and capital operating costs will continue throughout the rest of the year, with favourable outcomes allowing the project to advance to a definitive feasibility study.
The drill program collar plan