Sovereign’s development plans for the Kasiya rutile project are looking increasingly solid after infill drilling confirmed the consistency of high-grade rutile and graphite mineralisation at depth.

Notable results from the targeted deep infill aircore drilling program included 31m grading 1.14% rutile and 1.9% graphite, 25m at 1.18% rutile and 2% graphite, and 29m at 1.08% rutile and 2.1% graphite.

Rutile is a high-quality titanium feedstock which is preferred for the manufacturing of titanium pigments and metal.

Meanwhile, infill push tube (PT) core drilling of numerous Inferred category pits and potential pit extensions is expected to add new blocks of higher confidence Indicated resource material to Sovereign Metals’ (ASX:SVM) upcoming resource estimate update that is targeted for release this quarter.

“We are pleased with the consistency of the high-grade rutile results from the 2022 Kasiya infill resource drilling program,” managing director Dr Julian Stephens said.

“These results will all now feed into a revised resource estimate planned for Q1 2023 as part of the company’s forthcoming PFS.”

Kasiya currently has a resource of 1.78 billion tonnes grading 1.01% rutile and 1.32% graphite.

Successful rutile drilling

The 191 aircore holes completed at the Kasiya project in Malawi targeted the early-scheduled mining pit shells in the southern and central areas of the mineral resource footprint.

This revealed that rutile and graphite mineralisation is commonly pervasive throughout the saprolite zone and beyond the base of the current modelled pit shells.

However, the revised resource estimate is not expected to materially impact the mine plan that will be included in the Pre-Feasibility Study.

Sovereign has also completed the 247-hole PT drill program, which was designed to target high grade Inferred mining pits and potential areas of pit extensions to bring into the Indicated category to facilitate conversion to Ore Reserves in the upcoming PFS.

Results returned were generally as expected and continue to confirm laterally extensive and consistent rutile and graphite mineralisation at Kasiya.

PFS on schedule

The company adds that its PFS and Environmental and Social baseline workstreams are progressing on schedule with the targeted completion of the PFS expected during the first half of this year.

An expanded scoping study release in June 2022 estimated after-tax net present value and internal rate of return – both measures of a project’s profitability – at US$1.567b and 36% respectively.

The study also estimated that the project would generate US$323m in EBITDA annually over a 25 year life of mine.

Mine life extensions are likely given the growing likelihood that rutile and graphite mineralisation continues further at depth.




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.