PERTH (miningweekly.com) − ASX-listed minerals explorer Speewah Metals on Thursday said that its vanadium/titanium/magnetite deposit, in Western Australia, was “ripe” for Chinese investment.
Speaking at the Australian Resources Chinese Investment Congress, Speewah executive director Richard Wolanski said that the current global metals climate for large projects that support the steel industry, meant the company’s Speewah Dome project had emerged as a strategic investment opportunity for a Chinese partner.
“Such an alliance would assist Speewah Dome across three levels,” Wolanski said.
He told delegates that an alliance could accelerate the development of the project’s vanadium, titanium and iron potential, develop associated fluorite opportunities and fund continued exploration for its underlying copper, gold, silver and platinum mineralisation.
“Backing that effort, we have embarked in recent weeks on the largest exploration programme yet, which aims at doubling the already sizeable resource to take it to above six-billion tons vanadium/titanium,” Wolanski added.
He noted that this “exhaustive” 2011 agenda would comprise a 2 000 km maiden heli-borne electromagnetic survey, up to 15 000 m of reverse circulation drilling, and 5 000 m of diamond drilling.
“Our objective by the end of the year is to achieve an additional 2.5-billion tons of vanadium/titanium resource so that we can deliver a material increase in measured and indicated estimates, and determine the potential to extract titanium, and alongside feasibility work already completed on vanadium last year, potentially multiply project value.”
The project’s 575 km² footprint is 100%-owned by Speewah Metals and contains 3.6-billion tons of 0.35% vanadium (V₂0₅) and 2% titanium, including a high-grade zone comprising about half of the resource.
The company’s development objective includes upgrading the tenor of the two mineralised styles to achieve higher concentrate values of 2.48% V₂0₅ and 14.82% titanium oxide.
It also boasts an indicated and inferred fluorite resource of 6.7-million tons grading 24.5% fluorite, which would share infrastructure, thereby improving profitability.
Wolanski said that the project’s copper/gold/silver potential remained a critical objective of the 2011 exploration programme as the mineralisation had been identified along more than 80 km of major fault systems and “could bring a new high value proposition to what the company considers is already a multi-commodity project”.