Special report: Tando Resources will very soon have an upgraded resource for its SPD vanadium project in South Africa with the final drilling results now in hand.

The latest results include hits of 18m at 0.8 per cent V2O5 from surface, including 4m at 1.16 per cent V2O5 from surface and 4m at 0.94 per cent V2O5 from 14m.

Drilling returned grades of as high as 1.74 per cent from 56m.

The established SPD deposit already hosts a “foreign” resource of 513 million tonnes at 0.78 per cent vanadium pentoxide (V2O5).

Tando (ASX:TNO) has been aggressively working to convert that to a JORC-compliant resource, which the company expects to deliver before Christmas.

JORC refers to the mining industry’s official code for reporting exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves, managed by the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee.

Managing director Bill Oliver said the company’s strategy to establish SPD as a substantial, robust vanadium project was proceeding to plan.

“These latest results continue to demonstrate the high quality of the SPD vanadium deposit and will further strengthen the impending maiden JORC resource,” he said.

The next phases of drilling are now underway with four rigs operating.

Tando is testing the nearby shallow vanadium pipes, which have the potential to complement a low-cost direct shipping ore (DSO) operation at SPD.

DSO refers to minerals that require only simple crushing before they are exported, which keeps costs low.

“The strategy to establish a DSO operation or similar high-grade, near-term production opportunity utilising material from the nearby vanadium pipes is also on track, with the drilling program making strong progress,” Mr Oliver said.

This could generate early cashflow for Tando at a time when vanadium prices continue to head north.

The vanadium price punched through the $US20 per pound mark in September and has since rocketed past $US30 per pound — a 300 per cent increase just this year.

The phase two drilling program, which is well advanced, aims to upgrade the maiden JORC resource to the higher confidence indicated category.

Mineral resources are categorised in order of increasing geological confidence as inferred, indicated or measured.

The 58-hole, 5550m program is slated for completion in December.

“The combination of these parallel activities will underpin strong news flow for many months,” Mr Oliver said.


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