Technology Metals Australia Ltd (ASX:TMT) has increased the Gabanintha Vanadium Project measured and indicated resource by 32% to 9.6 million tonnes at 1% vanadium, providing scope to extend the mine life.
The increase is a result of a maiden indicated mineral resource for the Southern Tenement of 9.6 million tonnes at 1.0% V2O5.
This forms part of the overall resource estimate at this tenement of 27.7 million tonnes at 0.9% V2O5, an increase of 29% from the previous estimate of 21.5 million tonnes.
Within this is a high-grade component of 14.4 million tonnes at 1.1% V2O5.
The global mineral resource estimate for Gabanintha, which also includes the Northern Tenement, now sits at 137.2 million tonnes at 0.9% vanadium.
Work is underway to define a maiden Southern Tenement ore reserve estimate, which would provide a clear path to extend the project's mine life.
Targeted +20-year mine life
Managing director Ian Prentice said the Southern tenement update was “very pleasing” given the high proportion of material classified in the indicated category.
He said: “A targeted initial project life of more than 20 years is expected to be viewed favourably by prospective project financiers, strategic partners and key stakeholders.”
The updated Southern Tenement mineral resource estimate has been informed by two phases of drilling:
- 23 RC drill holes for 2,393 metres at nominal 200 metres line spacing completed in August 2017; and
- An infill and deeper drilling program consisting of eight RC holes for 666 metres and four PQ sized diamond holes for 610 metres completed in late 2018.
It is believed future drilling could also define the further potential for recoverable resources in the footwall lodes
Offtake MOU negotiations
Technology Metals is also progressing discussions regarding offtake agreements with a range of counterparties to secure additional quantities of vanadium.
These discussions include progressing an offtake MOU with Shaanxi Fengyuan Vanadium Technology Development Co. Ltd.
Travel restrictions imposed as part of the management of the COVID-19 pandemic have had an impact on the efficiency of progressing the offtake discussions with Fengyuan, with discussions being held through teleconference and electronic communication rather than in person.
Fengyuan has also previously proposed conducting a site visit as part of its due diligence, which has been impacted by the uncertainty around the timing of the lifting of any travel restrictions.
Technology Metals and Fengyuan are working through these matters with a view to progressing a draft binding offtake agreement in an as efficient manner as possible.
The status of these discussions has resulted in the parties mutually agreeing to maintain the MOU in full effect until the end of September 2020.