Met testwork proves Sovereign’s Kasiya will deliver a premium natural rutile product
Metallurgical testwork has confirmed Sovereign Metals’ Kasiya project in Malawi will deliver a premium natural rutile product, setting the stage for the company’s landmark scoping study.
Testwork continues to demonstrate the world class nature of Sovereign’s (ASX:SVM) Kasiya deposit, with simple and conventional processing delivering levels of 95% to 97.2% TiO2 with low impurities at stand-out metallurgical recoveries ranging from 94% to 100%.
That makes Kasiya competitive on TiO2 grades with some of the world’s largest natural rutile operations like Iluka’s Sierra Rutile and Rio Tinto’s Richards Bay Minerals.
It opens the door for discussions with tier-1 offtakers in the markets for TiO2 pigment, titanium metal and welding, where customers are facing widening supply deficits in a strengthening market.
Additionally, testwork has shown conventional flotation methods can be used to produce a coarse flake graphite by-product from rutile gravity tails with 60% at a coarseness of +150µm, suggesting it will have a high basket value when sold to market.
A program at SGS Lakefield in Canada confirmed simple processing methods delivered a very coarse-flake graphite concentrate at 96.3% TGC.
“Consistently achieving premium rutile specifications with stand-out recoveries via conventional “off the shelf” processing methods reinforces the robustness of metallurgical and processing performance of the Kasiya rutile mineralisation ahead of the upcoming Scoping Study,” Sovereign managing director Dr Julian Stephens said.
“These continued very high-quality product specifications should generate further interest from end-users across the titanium sector as the global structural deficit in natural rutile supply continues to widen.”
With the results in today’s announcement, Sovereign has now demonstrated the impressive metallurgical qualities of the Kasiya resource in two separate rounds of met testwork.
The testwork also confirms Kasiya will deliver strong recoveries and product specifications based on conventional off-the-shelf processing technology, which bodes well for its future development.
Proving the original results were certainly no fluke and opening the door to interest from Tier-1 offtake customers, they set up Sovereign to release a scoping study in the coming weeks.
With most of the technical disciplines now complete, mining optimisation and capital and operating cost estimations are currently being finalised.
A new indicated mineral resource estimate is also on the way after substantial resource drilling to build upon the world-class inferred resource released in June.
That confirmed Kasiya as one of the largest natural rutile deposits in the world, with an inferred resource of 644Mt at 1.01% rutile and a high-grade component of 137Mt at 1.41% rutile.
This article was developed in collaboration with Sovereign Metals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.