The program is designed to update the current mineral resource by drilling a number of holes to test at depth, trial new spectral and XRF scanning techniques and gather further geotechnical data.
Confirm circuit performance
Australian Vanadium director Vincent Algar said: “The 30 tonnes of material from this program are essential to confirm the performance of the circuit we have already defined in the PFS.
“As we complete the detailed design of the plant, it is essential we move from bench-scale tests to larger-scale tests using anticipated blends of ore that will be mined.
“Focusing on quality”
Algar also said: “A detailed pilot metallurgical program allows us to test and refine the circuit ensuring no surprises during actual mine production.
“The AVL team is focusing on quality as it advances through the work ahead.
“This quality will assist us in securing project funding partners and bringing Gabanintha into production.”
Innovative drilling procedures
Diamond holes will be drilled into the designed pit shell at the mining lease application to extract around 30 tonnes of oxide, transitional and fresh core samples for metallurgical work.
AVL will use innovative drilling procedures to reduce costs and drilling time as well as to maximise tonnage and information per hole during the program.
The program aims to intersect the mineralisation and provide key geo-metallurgical information on pit wall angles and free-dig boundaries in the waste rock.
Earlier this month Algar spoke to Proactive Investors about the Gabanintha project and its plans to complete a definitive feasibility study.
In November 2018 AVL increased the size and confidence of its JORC-compliant resource as a result of 19 RC holes for 1,863 metres and three diamond holes for 368.2 metres.
The updated total resource of 183.6 million tonnes at 0.76% vanadium pentoxide notably features a massive magnetite high-grade zone (HG10) of 96.7 million tonnes at 1% vanadium.
Algar said at the time: “The increased understanding and confidence further strengthens Gabanintha’s position as a world-class vanadium project in its size, grade and metallurgical recovery parameters.
“This update highlights our ability to leverage our significant strike length advantage to cheaply add more low-risk resource, optionality and mine life to the project.”
In December last year the company released the pre-feasibility study results reporting a maiden ore reserve of 18.24 million tones at 1.04% V205.
Gabanintha’s maiden ore reserve comprises a proved reserve of 9.82 million tones at 1.07% V205 and a probable reserve of 8.42 million tonnes at 1.01% V205.
It is expected the site will produce around 900,000 tonnes per annum of 1.40% V205 magnetite concentrate at an average yield of 60%.
The planned V205 refinery at the site will have a production rate of 22.5 million pounds of V205 per annum over an initial mine of 17 years.
- Jessica Cummins