Sovereign MD reckons Kasiya’s massive rutile production won’t even partially fill the supply gap
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Sovereign Metals Kasiya deposit could, in the near future, be the largest rutile deposit in the world with a current mineral resource estimate (MRE) of 644 million tonnes at 1.01% rutile.
Plus, the company just announced step-out drilling results from its recently discovered Nsaru deposit and expects substantial resource growth in the coming quarters.
But managing director Julian Stephens said even this giant resource would only partially fill the expected demand for rutile in titanium pigments and the welding market.
“Once we were able to incorporate all of the new results, we expect this to be the biggest and one of the highest-grade rutile deposits in the world, that’s why we’re so excited,” he said.
“Rutile production has really dropped off a cliff in the last two or three years, due to several mine shutdowns and existing mines mining lower grade and hence, there’s a deficit in the market.
“So, any potential new producer, like us, could sell every tonne we wanted to produce no problem.”
Sovereign Metals (ASX:SVM) has already been fielding inquiries, and with a scoping study planned for November, Stephens said he wouldn’t be surprised if the company started looking at MOUs in the near-term.
“With Kasiya, we wouldn’t even be filling the supply-demand gap, it would be partially filling the gap – the gap is so big it’s unbelievable,” he said.
“We’ve had continued inquiries from both pigment producers and the welding sector – and they are all asking us why aren’t we in production now because they’re so desperate for the product.
“I imagine we’ll start moving towards some MOUs with some of those groups in the coming months or quarters.”
The next step for the company is the scoping study, which is planned for mid late November this year.
A significant component of that is a core drilling program with the aim to bring the highest-grade portions of the inferred mineral resource into the indicated category, so that it can be used in the scoping study.
Rutile’s main competitor in titanium feedstock minerals is ilmenite but Kasiya also stands out because of its graphite upside.
“Ilmenite is iron titanium oxide, whereas rutile is just basically pure titanium oxide – so it’s the purest form of natural titanium and has significant advantages over ilmenite,” Stephens said.
“Kasiya itself does actually have some low-grade graphite within it that looks like it could form a valuable by-product from rutile production, so we are still working on the metallurgy for that – it’s looking quite encouraging, but it’s not complete yet,” Stephens said.
“So, we are pretty confident that we’ll be able to get a second product from the Kasiya rutile deposit, and that will hopefully add some significant value to the project.”
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.