Sovereign eyes province potential after high-grade rutile discovery
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Sovereign Metals has made a high-grade rutile discovery near its Kasiya deposit in Malawi, validating the company’s belief that it is sitting on a rutile province.
The new discovery, named Nsaru, was made by Sovereign (ASX:SVM) during initial wide-spaced drilling in the same geological domain as Kasiya – the deposits are within kilometres of one another.
Mineralisation at Nsaru has been intercepted from surface, with widths of up to 5.5km across and a current strike length of around 9km.
A total of 39 wide-spaced, reconnaissance holes were drilled to depths of up to 14m, with 34 showing high-grade rutile and very high grades intercepted 3-5m from surface.
Standout intercepts from drilling include:
The discovery of Nsaru expands Sovereign’s (ASX:SVM) rutile footprint in the African nation.
The area of drilled mineralisation to date is around 25km2 and combined with Kasiya’s 66km2 footprint gives a total current mineralised area of 91km2.
Sovereign managing director Dr Julian Stephens said the discovery was likely the dawn of something much larger for the company in Malawi.
“The new high-grade rutile discovery at Nsaru confirms that we have a globally significant rutile province on our hands,” he said.
“We are looking forward to the maiden JORC resource estimate for Kasiya, which we believe will put the company on the path to delineating one of the largest rutile resources in the world.”
The discovery of Nsaru comes around 15 months after that of Kasiya. A maiden resource estimate for this deposit is expected at the end of this quarter.
Natural rutile is the rarest and highest-grade source of titanium – favoured by pigment
producers due to its lower carbon footprint and lower levels of impurities.
It is also used in the titanium metal industry and as a welding component, which aligns it
with the industrial sectors and construction.
In conjunction with today’s announcement, Sovereign has announced it has secured commitments for $8 million worth of funding by an institutional placement with Northern Hemisphere-based investors.
The funds have been raised through the issue of 20 million new ordinary shares at an issue price of 40c each, plus a two-for-one unlisted option with an exercise price of 50c and a 12-month expiry.
Sprott Capital Partners LP acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the placement, and affiliates of Sprott took part.
The cash raised is expected to fund exploration and development activities in Malawi, and the maiden resource estimate for Kasiya.
“Strong endorsement of the project is with the institutional placement and the high calibre of the investors who participated,” Dr Stephens said.
In addition to the mineral resource for Kasiya, Sovereign intends to continue step out and intentional drilling at the deposit and the broader surrounding area to identify extensions and discover new regional mineralised zones.
Mining and tailings studies will continue and feed into a future scoping study, with metallurgical variability testwork in the final planning stages on three separate samples representative of the different regolith units from Kasiya.
Investigation and further testwork into a potential course-flake graphite by-product from Kasiya is ongoing.
The company is also planning to re-examine its Manlingunde graphite project in light of renewed market interest for graphite stemming from sustainability and the lithium-ion battery sector.
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.