ASX-listed junior exploration company Tando Resources on Thursday announced that it heliborne magnetic survey has delineated targets that demonstrate the potential for a low-cost direct shipping ore (DSO) operation at its SPD vanadium project, in South Africa.
As a result, Tando has decided to expedite plans for a maiden drilling programme, with a view to establishing a low-cost DSO operation as soon as possible.
The high-resolution survey clearly delineated a host of the shallow, high-grade vanadium pipes, which sit within a 3 km radius of the established vanadium deposit at SPD.
Surface sampling at these pipes returned high-grade vanadium assays which were consistently above 2% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5).
Tando had previously mapped the pipes based on surface traverses over outcropping mineralisation; however, the magnetic survey shows the pipes are of a much bigger scale than initially thought. One cluster of pipes measures 600 m by 600 m.
The magnetic survey has also identified a new 400 m by 400 m cluster of pipes in the north-east, which have not been mapped or sampled.
The vanadium pipes surround the SPD deposit, where there is currently a resource of 513-million tonnes at a grade of 0.78% V2O5.
Tando recently received notification of the granting of a mining right for the SPD project by the Department of Mineral Resources.
This paves the way for drilling to start during August at both the SPD deposit and the surrounding pipes.
To assist in fast-tracking the project, Tando is commissioning a marketing study into the potential market and pricing for the DSO product, particularly the product specifications desired by end-users.
Tando MD Bill Oliver said the company had established a two-pronged strategy at SPD.
“These magnetic results strongly support our view that the pipes could be sufficient to host a DSO operation which would be very low-cost to establish and operate. They would then be able to provide an early source of cash flow while we undertake technical and economic studies on the larger SPD vanadium deposit.”
Discussions are under way with a heli-rig contractor with a view to starting the drilling campaign on the pipes at the same time as the Phase 1 drilling at the SPD project