Resource update looms for Australian Vanadium
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Special Report: With the completion of a second infill drilling program, Australian Vanadium is another step closer towards updating resources at its namesake project.
Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL) has been steadily ticking off the milestones for its project in Western Australia’s Murchison Province, which boasts one of the highest grades of any vanadium project being developed globally.
Some of these include securing Major Project Status from the Australian government and raising $6.6m in September, reaching a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese company for potential vanadium offtake and delineating a resource and reserve large enough for an initial 17-year mine life.
The company has now completed a second infill drilling program in as many months that has confirmed the continuity of the unique massive magnetite zones at the project.
This program focused on the southern blocks of the Australian Vanadium project’s 11.5km strike length and was aimed at increasing more of the current resource from the inferred status to the higher confidence indicated status.
Indicated resources have enough grade continuity and geological certainty behind them to support mine planning.
Australian Vanadium’s first infill drilling program, which sought to further define the high-grade zone, returned consistently high-grade results of 20m at 1.04 per cent vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) from a depth of 125m, 17m at 1.23 per cent V2O5 from 38m and 12m at 1.21 per cent V2O5 from 22m.
A resource update is currently underway that will incorporate drill results from drilling in 2018 and 2019. This is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2020.
“The quality of the recent drill programs reflects the AVL team’s increasing knowledge and understanding of the ore body,” managing director Vincent Algar said.
“Being able to define more areas where there is shallow and highly magnetic mineralisation nearer surface will create options for our mining optimisation studies.
“The drilling program was dynamic, with holes prioritised based on the width, dip and magnetic response on a hole by hole basis.
“This resulted in two separate new areas of over 400m of strike length, both with good magnetic responses, which have the potential to become part of our future mining inventory.”
The Australian Vanadium project has a current global resource of 183.6 million tonnes at 0.76 per cent V2O5 and an ore reserve of 18Mt at 1.05 per cent V2O5 .
Given that the reserve is estimated in the pre-feasibility study to be sufficient for a 17-year mine life at the estimated production rate of 22.5 million pounds of V2O5 per annum, the extensive resources have the potential to really supercharge the project’s lifespan.
The company is also completing a definitive pilot study on a 30-tonne sample to confirm the process design.
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