due to current government enacted COVID-19 restrictions, laboratories working on the resource
upgrade for its Mannar Island Project have been closed.
Completion of the final mineralogical work has been put on hold and as such will be delayed until essential services have been reinstated in the country.
The resource consultants have also indicated the report was close to completion and anticipate finalising the report in a timely manner once work recommences.
TSL was earlier expecting the scoping study to be completed in April. However, completion of the scoping study requires finalisation of the mineral resource estimate.
Work on the scoping study is well advanced and can be completed quickly after receiving the resource estimate.
Potential for a major resource upgrade
The drill core results being analysed in South Africa indicate that the current shallow resource of 90.03 million tonnes at 6.6% THM (total heavy mineral) at a depth of only 1 to 3 metres, is underlain by large areas of deeper mineralisation of between 5 metres and 12 metres.
The drill results demonstrate a major depth potential to substantially increase the previously reported surface exposed mineralisation on the Mannar Island Project.
COVID-19 restrictions and drilling plan
The Sri Lankan Government has implemented country wide curfews and restrictions to movement.
The Mannar Island team are therefore on standby pending relaxation of these conditions.
A further 500 hole reverse circulation (RC) resource extension and definition drilling program has been designed and the local team will re-commence drilling as soon as local conditions permit.
The program is expected to have a duration of 12 weeks.
TSL is also taking the opportunity at this time to look at sonic drilling and coring equipment that can be fitted to the existing company owned RC aircore drilling rig.
Sonic drilling could be used to convert portions of the mineral resources in to reserves and to accurately sample beneath the 8 metres to 11 metres depth limit on the RC aircore drilling.