Venture opens door to solar and EV industry after finding boron rich zones at Tasmanian tin project
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Underground feasibility study work at Venture Minerals’ Mount Lindsay tin-tungsten project in Tasmania has highlighted the potential for additional, large-scale quantities of tin and boron throughout the greater Mount Lindsay skarn system.
But what’s really interesting is that the tin-boron zones are in the form of borate minerals and have not previously been assessed in any mining studies at Mount Lindsay – and boron is a critical mineral in the solar panel and electric vehicle industries.
Notable intersections include:
Plus, the borate minerals not only occur in the current Mount Lindsay resources, but also occur extensively throughout the numerous skarns surrounding the company’s current tin-tungsten deposits, which are similar to well-known large skarn deposits in Russia and China, that contain the same borates.
Venture Minerals (ASX:VMS) believes the inclusion of tin-rich borates into the current underground feasibility studies could deliver a major economic benefit to the study through the recovery of boron and additional tin and iron.
“The value of the Mount Lindsay project, as a potential supplier of critical minerals to the globe, has been further enhanced by the potential to extract the rare light metal Boron, an important and versatile element in the modern world, used in everything from computer screens to fertilisers to creating powerful magnets for wind turbines and EVs,” MD Andrew Radonjic said.
“In addition to being a significant tin-tungsten deposit, Mount Lindsay also has the potential to be a large-scale boron project, similar to producing projects in China and Russia, particularly when you consider the multitude of targets outside the Main and No.2 Skarns containing significant quantities of boron with tin and iron.”
“The company will now look to define the process of extracting the boron along with the other already proven critical minerals tin and tungsten.”
Boron is now included in the European Commission’s Critical Raw Materials Act and is considered vital to the green energy transition.
Currently Australia does not produce boron, and over 80% of the world’s Boron is produced by two companies Rio Tinto (Boron Mining Operations in California, USA since 1927) and Eti Maden AS (State owned Enterprise of Turkey) which produce over 50%.
Notable players in the space include Ioneer (ASX:INR) who’re looking to develop Rhyolite Ridge Project in Nevada (459.5mt at 0.46% Boron), whilst 5E Advanced Materials (ASX:5AE) is commissioning the plant for the Boron Americas (Fort Cady) Complex in California (120.4mt at 2.02% Boron) – both of which are being touted as a replacement for the Rio Tinto USA based mine supply as the reserves diminish.
The previously completed (2012) Mount Lindsay Open-Pit Study had a processing flowsheet that could only recover the tin that occurs in cassiterite therefore limiting the revenue generated by tin, and now the company has broadened its metallurgical focus to include borates in the mine design for the Mount Lindsay Underground Feasibility Study.
The metallurgical test work will focus on the tailings streams from the current processing flowsheet, which has the economic advantage of having already been mined and processed.
Venture has already engaged CSIRO to commence metallurgical recovery work on the tin-rich borates.
This article was developed in collaboration with Venture Minerals Limited, 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.