Modern Mining

ASX-listed Tando Resources reports that it is set to start its drilling programme at its SPD vanadium project in South Africa.

Two drilling rigs (one RC and one diamond core) have been mobilised to site, with drilling scheduled to be conducted at both the existing high-grade resource and the surrounding high-grade vanadium pipes at the same time.

As part of mobilisation, the drilling contractor, assisted by Tando, has recruited employees from the local communities. This is expected to be the first of many opportunities for the project to provide benefits such as employment and training for these communities.

Phase One of the drilling programme will comprise 18 holes for 1 650 m at the SPD deposit, where there is currently a resource of 513 Mt at a grade of 0,78 % V2O5 defined under the SAMREC code.

This resource is a ‘foreign resource’ (as defined in the ASX Listing Rules). The drilling is aimed at converting it to a Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) as defined in the JORC Code. Tando expects the MRE will be published by the end of October 2018.

Phase One will also include the first holes to be drilled at the shallow, high-grade vanadium pipes which sit within a 3 km radius of the SPD deposit. Tando has reported a host of high-grade vanadium assays from samples taken from the surface of these pipes with assay results consistently above 2 % V2O5.

Tando says these vanadium grades highlight the strong potential for the pipes to underpin a simple, low-cost, high-grade DSO operation with a compressed development timetable. First visual results from drilling of the pipes are expected later this month with assay results likely to be received during October.

Following completion of the Phase One drilling programme, Tando will move straight into Phase Two, which will be aimed at upgrading the maiden JORC resource to the indicated category (provided results are as anticipated). Phase Two is currently designed to comprise 58 holes for 5 550 m.

The cost to complete the entire Phase 1 and Phase 2 drilling programme and the resultant resource estimations is estimated at A$1,4 million. Tando is fully funded for the drilling programme as well as the metallurgical and mining studies which will follow completion of the drilling programme.

Tando MD Bill Oliver said the scene was set for Tando to demonstrate the value of the world-class SPD vanadium project.

“We know we have extensive high-grade vanadium at SPD and that the value of the project will become clearer as we convert it to JORC status. We also believe there is outstanding potential at the surrounding vanadium pipes, which we have demonstrated host high-grade mineralisation from surface and may therefore underpin a low-cost DSO operation. The commencement of drilling, and the combination of the impending assay results, the testing of the pipes and the conversion to JORC resource status means we will have strong newsflow over coming months.”

The SPD project is located on the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex. It is only 30 km from the currently dormant Mapochs mine, which has a processing plant and railway infrastructure. 

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