Technology Metals Australia Ltd (ASX:TMT) has received strong drilling and test-work results from Gabanintha Vanadium Project which have positive implications for an upcoming mineral resource estimate update.
Diamond core drilling along the strike of the Southern Tenement has confirmed the presence of broad zones of massive magnetite with high vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) grades.
Metallurgical test-work has returned the GVP’s highest vanadium grades in magnetic concentrate with excellent vanadium recoveries and high mass yields into a high-quality concentrate.
“High level of confidence”
TMT managing director Ian Prentice said: “The data collected from diamond drilling completed at the Southern Tenement, combined with the extremely positive metallurgical test-work, provides a high level of confidence in the outcome of the pending update to the mineral resource estimation.
“A material portion of this mineral resource estimate is expected to be upgraded to the indicated category.
“This has the potential to deliver a substantial increase to the GVP operating life, initially targeting a mine life beyond 20 years, which is expected to be viewed favourably by prospective financiers.”
Shares have been almost 9% higher in early trade to 13 cents, more than double the 6.1 cents at close on March 24.
Gabanintha Vanadium Project layout.
Drill results include 10 metres at 1.16% V2O5 from 81 metres, 22 metres at 1.12% V2O5 from 33 metres and 12 metres at 1.16% V2O5 from 28 metres.
The drilling also highlighted the typically very shallow weathering profile, which has very positive implications for yield into magnetic concentrate, vanadium recovery and operating costs.
Davis Tube Recovery (DTR) undertaken on composite samples from RC drilling at the Southern Tenement has yielded strong vanadium recovery to high-grade magnetic concentrates:
- Magnetic concentrates averaging 1.48% V2O5 at an average 92% recovery from fresh massive ore; and
- Magnetic concentrates averaging 1.64% V2O5 at an average 80% recovery from fresh hanging wall ore.
DTR testing was completed on 21 composite samples prepared from stored coarse RC drill sample material from the RC drilling programs at Southern Tenement, with 50.5 kilograms of material tested.
Southern Tenement drill hole location plan.
This test-work, completed at a commercial laboratory under the supervision of TMT’s metallurgical consultants METS Engineering Group Pty Ltd, was designed to assess magnetic yield and vanadium recovery to a magnetic concentrate.
DTR has proven to be an effective proxy for Low-Intensity Magnetic Separation (LIMS) results in the Central and North pits of the Northern Block.
Key test-work findings:
- High mass recovery for the massive magnetite zone;
- Excellent vanadium recovery to magnetic concentrate;
- Higher vanadium in concentrate grades than recorded in the Northern Block, especially from disseminated mineralisation;
- Low silica and aluminium in concentrate; and
- Greater rejection of TiO2 to the non-magnetic tails than observed in the Northern Block.
The assay and metallurgical data is being incorporated into an updated Southern Tenement resource estimate.
Cross-section A-B highlighting broad massive magnetite zone and shallow oxidation.
GVP hosts a global measured, indicated and inferred resource of 131 million tonnes at 0.9% V2O5, including a high-grade component of 71.2 million tonnes at 1.1% V2O5.
This global resource is divided between the Northern Block with 109.5 million tonnes at 0.8% V2O5 and the Southern Tenement with 21.5 million tonnes at 0.9% V2O5.
A high-quality definitive feasibility study (DFS) on the development of the GVP was based solely on the Northern Block resource and delivered a proven and probable ore reserve of 29.6 million tonnes at 0.88% V2O5 from a measured and indicated resource of 30.0 million tonnes at 0.9% V2O5.
This maiden reserve supports an initial 16-year project life, with +1.0% V2O5 feed grade for the first 12 years of operation.
Resource update this quarter
The Southern Tenement inferred resource hosts a high-grade component of 10.4 million tonnes at 1.1% V2O5 providing scope for a material increase to the initial project life identified in the DFS.
Work to update the Southern Tenement resource, incorporating data from all available drilling with the aim of defining a maiden indicated resource component for this area, is expected to be completed this quarter.
This area, known locally as Black Hills, is 15 kilometres southeast of the proposed processing plant and has a similar outcrop character to the Ironstone Ridge outcrop in the Northern Block of the GVP.