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Mineral Commodities eyes more heavy mineral sands in Africa

After flying airborne geophysical surveys over its newly granted De Punt exploration area, mining and development company Mineral Commodities sees potential extensions to its Western and Eastern Inland Strandline heavy mineral sands deposits in South Africa. The company is now ready for a 5000m air-core drilling program to test seven major drill targets identified along magnetic anomalies as it looks to table a maiden mineral resource for De Punt by the end of the year.

Two main linear magnetic trends were lit up within De Punt by the latest geophysical surveys with the Western trend stretching 13km long and the Eastern trend totalling an aggregate length of 8km.

The trends appear to be geologically aligned and extend from the strandline deposits that together contribute 212.7 million tonnes of ore to the company’s global resource of 562.2Mt at 6.6 per cent total heavy minerals.

In 2020, drill efforts at the southern boundary of the Western deposit returned significant results including 13m at 51.2 per cent total heavy minerals from 30m downhole and 17m at 45.5 per cent from 29m.

The significant southern show alludes to a high potential for the mineralisation to continue into the newly granted and adjoining prospecting area.

Aeromagnetic survey results and anomaly maps demonstrate the high prospectivity of De Punt, which appears to extend the Tormin Western and Eastern Strandline deposits to the south. We aim to report a maiden mineral resource estimate for De Punt by the end of 2022.

In July 2020, the company was granted the De Punt prospecting right as an expansion to the southern side of its Tormin heavy mineral sands project about 360km north of Cape Town in South Africa.

The addition of De Punt has the potential to significantly increase Mineral Commodities’ resources beyond the existing inland deposits and allow the company to aggressively ramp up production as planned.

Mineral Commodities aims to grow its processing capacity with the construction of a minerals separation plant that will enable it to produce up to 300,000 tonnes of finished product per annum, significantly increasing the value of Tormin.

Last year the company produced almost 250,000 tonnes of finished product consisting of concentrates of garnet, ilmenite and zircon and rutile. In 2020 the total production was just over 230,000 tonnes.

The company expects plant construction to start next year with the first production in 2024.

Heavy mineral sands deposits are an important source of titanium, most of which is refined into titanium dioxide for use as a white pigment to colour materials such as paper, plastic, rubber and cosmetics.

In addition, titanium in its metal form has few rivals in its strength-to-weight ratio and thus has engineering applications in industries such as aerospace.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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