Sovereign edging closer to Kasiya rutile project development
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Sovereign is following up on its definition of a mammoth resource for its Kasiya rutile project in Malawi with a scoping study targeted for delivery in late 2021.
The company has established an owner’s team with the appointment of mineral sands veteran Paul Marcos as head of development and Russell Bradford as its study manager.
DRA Global has been appointed to lead the study with support from other industry-leading consultants while a multi-rig core drilling program is underway targeting high-grade rutile corridors to upgrade resources into the indicated category to feed into the study.
Sovereign Metals (ASX:SVM) has also started further bulk scale metallurgy test-work, driven by end-users’ requests for product samples and refinement of the flowsheet, and continued engagement with Tier 1 potential offtake partners.
“After delivering one of the world’s largest natural rutile deposits in our maiden Mineral Resource Estimate, Sovereign has moved quickly forward into a Scoping Study,” managing director Dr Julian Stephens said.
“The study is targeting a large-scale natural rutile operation to fill some of the existing supply deficit of the purest and most environmentally sustainable titanium feedstock.
“We are very happy with the strong team that has been assembled for the study and look forward to unlocking the value from the Kasiya rutile project.”
In June, the company penned in a resource of 644 million tonnes grading 1.01% rutile with a high-grade core of 137Mt at 1.41% rutile for the Kasiya project just 18 months out from its discovery.
This is just the beginning as the resource covers just 49sqkm, or 43%, of the drilled footprint of about 114sqkm and does not include the 25sqkm Nsaru prospect that features high-grade rutile mineralisation from surface with widths of up to 5.5km across.
With natural rutile – the rarest and highest-grade source of titanium – in deficit, the giant Kasiya deposit has a unique opportunity to fill the supply-demand gap.
And Sovereign is taking the first step in achieving this goal by embarking on the scoping study, which will demonstrate an economic assessment of the business case to an accuracy of +/- 30%.
Current work streams include an extensive drill program that could expand on the current resource.
Two core drilling rigs are currently progressing a +200 hole drill program to bring the central, high grade areas of rutile mineralisation at Kasiya into the JORC Indicated category to underpin the study.
Hand-auger drilling is also ongoing at the Nsaru deposit.
The company has also designed a pre-feasibility level bulk scale metallurgy program to further optimise flowsheet development and assess variability across the different weathering zones.
Additionally, work is continuing to evaluate the potential of recovering a graphite by-product from the Kasiya rutile deposit.
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.