Drilling results show why Steelpoortdrift is one of the best vanadium projects in the world
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Special Report: A successful Asian market tour and outstanding reserve drilling results — Vanadium Resources (ASX:VR8) is rapidly driving its world-class Steelpoortdrift project towards production.
Steelpoortdrift is on a granted mining lease in the legendary Bushveld Complex, where producers like Glencore and Bushveld mine some of the world’s richest, highest grade vanadium deposits.
And within the Bushveld Complex, Steelpoortdrift has the largest and highest grade in-ground resources. At 169 million tonnes, it also boasts the largest high-grade resource above 1 per cent V2O5 in the world.
This high-grade stuff outcrops at surface and dips shallowly, making it ideal for an initial very low cost, open pit mining operation.
With environmental and community approvals already in place, Vanadium Resources is in a unique position of being able to fast track concentrate production and sales as part of a staged development approach.
Around 53.4 million tonnes of this mineralisation is contained within a conceptual pit shell used as the basis for Vanadium Resources’ recent scoping study:
This is now the focus of a close-spaced 23-hole, 1154m reserve drilling campaign, designed to improve confidence in the mineralisation ahead of a decision to mine.
Mineral reserves are resources known to be economically feasible for extraction.
First results released today, including 7m at 1.11 per cent V2O5 and 6.19 per cent TiO2, are right on the money, Vanadium Resources says, and will be used to upgrade the Steelpoortdrift resource in the current quarter.
“These results continue to show the high-grade, high-quality nature of the vanadiferous titanomagnetite present at Steelpoortdrift, which is potentially a saleable product and also provides an advantage in downstream processing due to being high in vanadium (~2.2 per cent), iron (more than 55 per cent) and titanium (~12 per cent) and low in [impurities] silica and alumina,” the company says.
This means reliable, high-grade, high-quality concentrate – exactly what Chinese buyers want.
“This is very consistent, very well studied and well understood mineralisation which has successfully been mined [within the Bushveld Complex] for a number for years,” managing director Bill Oliver says.
“And there’s more to be mined.”