• Mannar Island binding land access agreement received for Priority 1 zone
  • Mining licence and environmental assessments in progress
  • Scoping study outlines the project to be highly globally competitive


Special Report: Binding land access agreements have been signed with landowners for the Priority 1 zone of Titanium Sands’ Mannar Island heavy mineral project in Sri Lanka.

Titanium Sands’ (ASX:TSL) enormous 318Mt @ 4.17% totally heavy minerals (THM) Mannar Island project contains ilmenite (the main source of titanium oxide) which makes up the bulk of its mineralisation.

Ilmenite is the feedstock used in producing titanium dioxide (TiO2) and is used in a range of daily products such as paints, fabrics, plastics, paper, sunscreen, cosmetics – and even food.


Land access and community support

As part of the signed agreements, TSL met with affected landowners to explain the proposed Stage 1 Mannar Island project and plans for the progressive development of sustainable commercial plantation agriculture as an integral part of the operation.

“Job creation during the development phase into production means many local Mannar families can stay in Mannar, rather than having to look for work outside of Mannar on the Sri Lankan mainland,” TSL MD Dr James Searle says.

“Further to this, the establishment of commercial plantation for land owners post-mining creates new industry, employment and income for generations to come.

“Signing the land access agreements provides great confidence the Mannar community are starting to understand the benefits of this project, not just to the economic rebuild of Sri Lanka, but specifically to the community of Mannar.”

Titanium Sands (ASX:TSL)
The Mannar Island Stage 1 heavy mineral sands project area. Pic supplied: (TSL)

Searle says the signing of the priority 1 zone land access agreements were another milestone achieved for Sri Lanka’s Central Environmental Authority (CEA) clearance process.

“The CEA process has also been helped with the recent Mannar Island environmental study completed by Indian energy giant Adani for their Mannar wind farm and provides TSL a road map for its low environmental project impact assessment.

“Further CEA site visits are expected to address other outstanding milestones that will lead to completion of the process.”


Project metrics

The Mannar Island deposit is made up of a >12m thick sequence of <8,000yr-old unconsolidated sands that extend in two continuous zones 10-12km long and 1-3km wide. It’s joined to the mainland shore by road, rail, power and other associated infrastructure.

The 318Mt THM resource includes the Stage 1 82Mt @ 6.03%, 8km by 1km high-grade zone that is exposed at surface with no barren overburden, making extraction processes easier.

A scoping study in May revealed a Stage 1 NPV of $545m with a gross revenue of $2bn and net revenue of $1.28bn – with a low capex of $122m and payback period of just under two years – making it a globally competitive ilmenite producer.

Importantly, it showed an IRR of 52% and is expected to employ up to 1,200 people when fully operational – a boon for the region’s community.

There are also opportunities for two further expansion stages as TSL looks to become Sri Lanka’s first independent bulk export mineral sands project.



This article was developed in collaboration with Titanium Sands, 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.