New shallow mineralisation to help drive Australian Vanadium development
Special Report: Drilling has elevated the potential for Australian Vanadium to add up to two mining pits at its namesake project in Western Australia.
The drill program on the southern strike extensions of Australian Vanadium’s (ASX:AVL) project returned shallow, high-grade hits that will underpin an updated resource model in the southern areas.
The results include two of the highest grade and width intersections, above 1.25 per cent vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), at shallows depths that the company has reported to date.
These are 22m at 1.25 per cent V2O5 from a depth of 32m including a higher grade zone of 15m at 1.44 per cent V2O5from 37m and 21m at 1.28 per cent V2O5 including 14m at 1.42 per cent V2O5 from 43m.
The company said the drilling success in identifying the target vanadium mineralisation confirmed the continuity of the unique massive-magnetite zones at the project.
Additionally, geological observations during logging of the drill holes and magnetic susceptibility readings recorded on the samples all demonstrate a shallower weathering profile.
This is expected to result in higher recoveries of magnetic product earlier in the mining schedule.
Australian Vanadium is incorporating the new results into a mineral resource update that is currently being completed.
The southern blocks currently have a resource of 55.3 million tonnes (Mt) grading 0.97 per cent V2O5, 42.37 per cent iron and 11.08 per cent titanium dioxide.
“The exceptional high-grade results from this drilling program in areas not currently in our reserve base further strengthen our confidence in the deposit,” managing director Vincent Algar said.
“The results have also confirmed the presence of additional, shallow, highly magnetic mineralisation in this area.
“This opens up potential for a second, and possibly third mining pit to be used in the DFS mining schedule which adds confidence to the strategies we are applying to bring the project into production.”
The Australian Vanadium project has a reserve of 18Mt at 1.05 per cent V2O5 within a broader resource of 183.6Mt at 0.76 per cent V2O5.
Work is underway to reduce the expected capital cost and improve the efficiency of the proposed processing operations.
In January, the company signed a letter of intent with Yanshan Vanadium Titanium – a subsidiary of China-based HBIS Group Chengsteel, the world’s #3 vanadium producer – to negotiate and sign a binding technical service and purchase agreement.
HBIS Chengsteel produces and uses vanadium in a wide range of products, including wire for skyscraper construction, vanadium aluminium alloys for aerospace applications, and electrolyte for vanadium redox flow batteries.
It recently supplied more than 240,000t of vanadium-bearing anti-seismic rebars and fine steel plates for the 55km-long Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge – the world’s longest sea crossing bridge.