Special report: Battery metals explorer Six Sigma said it is just “scratching the surface of what could be a large, high value ore body” after it returned high levels of vanadium, copper, cobalt, titanium and iron from sampling at the Chuatsa vanadium project in Zimbabwe.

Six of the eight surface rock samples at Chuatsa returned vanadium results over 0.68 per cent, and 55 per cent of surface soil samples collected returned vanadium results of more than 0.3 per cent, according to Six Sigma (ASX:SI6).

The sampling program confirmed the excellent results of historical exploration undertaken by major miner Anglo American in the 1960s.

In fact, vanadium levels actually exceeded historical levels, with numerous results above 1 per cent vanadium pentoxide, Six Sigma exploration manager Steve Groves said.

Soil sampling results were “extremely encouraging”, with very high vanadium — but also cobalt, copper, titanium, and iron – recorded.

“We have discovered that elevated levels of cobalt exist across the project which potentially adds significant value to this large, multi-commodity body,” Mr Groves said.

“The fact that most of our samples were soils but still returned high levels of vanadium, copper, cobalt, titanium and iron shows that we are only scratching the surface of what could be a large, high value ore body within good proximity to infrastructure at a time when Zimbabwe is looking for quality resource projects to kickstart it’s economy and provide opportunities for the local population.”

The Chuatsa vanadium project is 140km northeast of the country’s capital on land that has not been explored since the 1960s.

Six Sigma’s due diligence assessment will extend for a period of two weeks now that the final set of assay results from the due diligence exploration program have been received.

Six Sigma will spend the next two weeks completing a full interpretation of the geological merits of the Shamva lithium and Chuatsa vanadium projects, ahead of their proposed acquisition from Zimbabwae-based miner Mirrorplex.

The company has executed an option agreement with Mirrorplex to acquire up to an 80 per cent interest in its vanadium-titanium and lithium projects in the country.

Last week the company told investors it had uncovered significant intersections of high-grade lithium oxide (Li2O) of up to 4.38 per cent at its Shamva lithium  project also in Zimbabwe.

Individual metre samples returned even higher grades of up to 4.87 per cent.

The grades reported are extremely high by comparison to a typical grades of a hard rock lithium mine, which range between 0.9 and 1.6 per cent Li2O.

The right metal at the right time

Vanadium prices are now at their highest point since 2005, pushing through the magical $US20/lb mark amid ongoing supply concerns, according to Metal Bulletin data.

And with only three large scale primary vanadium producers globally – Bushveld Minerals, Glencore, and Largo Resources – this supply squeeze looks set to continue in the near term, even with planned expansions designed to increase annual production.


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