A subsequent upgrade is also expected by the end of the first quarter of 2020 incorporating results from the company’s recently completed second resource infill drilling program in two months.
Phase II program
Thirty reverse circulation (RC) holes were drilled between December 10 and 17 for 2,336 metres on the southern strike extensions at the project with the high-grade (HG) zone 10 intersected in 29 holes.
Drilling targeted inferred resources south of existing pre-feasibility study (PFS) mineral reserves for conversion to indicated resources category.
It identified the target vanadium mineralisation and confirmed continuity of the unique massive-magnetite zones at the project south of Meekatharra.
The upcoming mineral resource upgrade will incorporate drill results from earlier 2018 and 2019 drill programs.
“Quality” drill programs
Managing director Vincent Algar said, “The quality of the recent drill programs reflects the AVL team’s increasing knowledge and understanding of the ore body.
“Being able to define more areas where there is shallow and highly magnetic mineralisation nearer surface, will create options for our mining optimisation studies.”
The objective of the series of drill programs is to increase the potential mine life or scale of the project to beyond 17 years as defined in the PFS and to enable better-informed decisions on the optimal scale and mine life of the project.
Current reserves at The Australian Vanadium Project.
The phase II drill program focused on the southern blocks of AVL’s 11.5-kilometre strike length and has improved the existing drill spacing from 400 metres to about 140 metres.
Priority holes were based on the thickness of the high-grade zone, V2O5 grade and the magnetitic susceptibility response.
Drill productivity during the program was high, with an average meterage of 292 metres per shift.
This efficiency translates into lower total drill costs as ancillary costs due to personnel being in the field were lower.
Algar said, “The drilling program was dynamic, with holes prioritised based on the width, dip and magnetic response on a hole-by-hole basis.
“This resulted in two separate new areas of over 400 metres of strike length, both with good magnetic responses, which have the potential to become part of our future mining inventory.”
The high-grade (HG) zone 10 was intersected in 29 of the holes with assay results pending.
Drilling also confirmed the shallower dip on block 8 to the south, where the unit dips around 40 degrees to the west, instead of between 50 and 60 degrees.
This shallower dip might have additional benefits in relation to planning open pit mining, as it would generally result in a lower strip ratio.