Mineral Commodities has unveiled its maiden heavy mineral sands ore reserve estimate that clocks in at a stellar 21.8 million tonnes at 31 per cent total heavy minerals for a total of 6.7 million tonnes at its Tormin Inland Strand deposit in South Africa. The ore reserve sits enviably close to existing processing infrastructure and the company is aiming to recommence the operation in the September quarter of 2022.
A staged development will initially target a 1.2 million tonne per annum throughput at the Inland Strand operation on the existing mining rights. The company then aims to double capacity to 2.4mtpa following the grant of additional mining licenses that have already been applied for.
The Tormin Inland Strand deposit consists of the Western and Eastern Strandline deposits that sit adjacent to each other in the Western Cape region, approximately 370km north of Cape Town.
Maiden ore reserve estimates at the Western Strandline deposit came after the company interpreted a sub-set of the mineral resource estimate completed in December 2021. The resource estimate was supercharged to a hearty 193 million tonnes grading 9.5 per cent total heavy minerals with the updated estimate represented a whopping 82 per cent increase in total mineral resources.
A maiden mineral resource has also been carved out for the Eastern Strandline deposit and has been estimated by the company at 19.5 million tonnes going 3.3 per cent total heavy minerals.
Estimates completed to date use data taken from two separate drilling campaigns completed over recent months with a third phase currently being planned to infill the inferred resource.
The maiden ore reserve was estimated based on modifying factors from a pre-feasibility study applied on the measured and indicated mineral resources. Tight drill spacings together with a continuous ore body has allowed the reserve to be classified as proven and probable, giving Mineral Commodities strong confidence in the estimated figures.
All mineral resource and reserve estimates have been collated in accordance with Australian JORC 2012 regulations and use a 2 per cent total heavy mineral cut-off grade.
Inland Strands is comprised of multiple discrete paleo strandlines running sub-parallel to the coastline. The company says aeromagnetic data indicates the strandlines run continuously along the length of the company’s tenure.
Mineral Commodities has significant experience in the heavy mineral sands industry having operated the Tormin mineral sands mine since 2014. In that time the operation has mined and processed more than 15m tonnes of ore in its 2.6mtpa plant to produce zircon, rutile, garnet and ilmenite concentrates for export.
Heavy mineral sands, whilst not enjoying rock star status like lithium or gold, are nonetheless critical to the global economy. The various minerals extracted from Mineral Resources heavy mineral sands operation are used for a variety of industrial purposes such as pigment for paint, paper, plastics and ceramics.
Growing the Inland Strand resource and now maiden ore reserve allows us to take a critical look at our expansion strategy for the Inland Strand operations. A phased development program from the Inland Strand and Beach deposits in a short period will significantly improve flexibility, optionality and revenue capacity from Tormin.
With an enviable set of numbers already on the table, Mineral Commodities will no doubt be itching to complete its phase three drill campaign in order to increase those figures further and get a better understanding about just how big its deposit might be.
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