Mineral sands player Sovereign Metals (ASX:SVM) reckons it has “highly commercial” rutile following further testwork on material from its project in Malawi.

The company told investors that its 96 per cent titanium dioxide rutile product had a highly favourable grain size distribution comparable to other leading natural rutile products in the market.

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Rutile is used in the manufacture of ceramics, as a pigment, and for the production of titanium metal.

“These initial QEMSCAN results have confirmed the ability to produce a natural rutile product to commercial specifications in terms of both chemical composition and particle size distribution,” managing director Dr Julian Stephens said.

“Sovereign’s rutile product compares favourably to other leading natural rutile products in the market and is likely to be suitable for all major end-user applications including chloride pigment, titanium metal and welding flux.”

Sovereign thinks it’s 4000 sq km land package in Malawi could potentially host a new rutile province capable of supplying commercial specification at a time of decreasing supply.

This has prompted the company to accelerate exploration over the coming months.

Shares edged up 4.6 per cent to 11.5c on Wednesday morning.


In other ASX bulk metals news:

MRG Metals (ASX:MRQ) has raised $661,500 to fund drilling at its Corridor Central and Corridor South heavy mineral sands projects in Mozambique. The company plans to drill 5,000m to initially test the high priority Koko Masava target.