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Xaudum Iron Formation project, Botswana – update

Imge of Xaudum geodomain

24th September 2021

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Xaudum Iron Formation (XIF) project.

Location
North-West district of Botswana.

Project Owner/s
Tsodilo Resources, through its wholly owned subsidiary Gcwihaba Resources.

Project Description
The project has the potential to be the first iron deposit to be considered for development in Botswana. 

Preliminary work on the XIF project has defined a Canada Institute of Mining-compliant inferred mineral resource estimate for the Block 1 magnetite XIF of 441-million tonnes with an average grade of 29.4% iron, 41% silicone dioxide, 6.1% aluminium oxide and 0.3% phosphorous.

Block 1 is a fraction of the potential XIF magnetite resource. An extrapolated exploration target has defined the XIF to be five- to seven-billion tonnes at 15% to 40% iron.

The preliminary economic assessment on the project will evaluate several options for the development of the project at a variety of scales, including:

  • nontraditional, but potentially profitable, small-scale startup mining production options, such as ferrosilicon production from magnetite concentrate;
  • midsize scenarios, whereby magnetite concentrate will be processed through a concentrator and transported to a railhead, and then to port facilities;
  • large-scale mining options, where full-scale mining will modify the pellets that will then be transported to port facilities.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
Not stated.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
The first set of geotechnical lab test results for the Xaudum iron project, conducted on the Xaudum iron formation (XIF), indicate that the XIF materials are competent, with good to moderate strength properties.

This outcome, Tsodilo has stated, will result in a positive set of geotechnical parameters to be used in the ongoing preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the XIF project.

In addition, with rock strength data being important in generating slope designs for safe mining, Tsodilo has noted that this set of lab test data will contribute to further geotechnical studies into rock-mass rating for pit stability and pit wall design during the engineering stage of the PEA.

The aim of conducting lab tests on these XIF samples is to measure the ranges at which the XIF will fail under tension, compression and shear on their discontinuities.

To test these properties, the selected samples from XIF geodomains have been subjected to various tests, including 18 unconfined compressive strength (UCS) tests, eight Brazilian tensile strength (BTS) tests and four direct shear strength tests.

These 31 tests were conducted at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology by the Mining and Geological Engineering department.

The results have shown that the XIF materials are all within standard mechanical rock property ranges and that there will be no geotechnical issues arising from the XIF materials.

The UCS and the BTS strength tests have indicated that the XIF major geodomains are competent and strong in terms of compression and tension.

The UCS mode of failure indicates that diamictite schist formation, diamictite schist weathered formation and weathered banded magnetite tend to show a preferred mode of failure related to the foliation.

Tsodilo has stated that this is not as common for banded magnetite formation and calcrete overburden.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
SRK Consulting (technical report).

Contact Details for Project Information
Tsodilo Resources, email info@TsodiloResources.com.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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