Australian Vanadium (AVL) has commenced drilling on the southern strike extensions at The Australian Vanadium Project to follow up on the best intersections from pre-2015 drilling.
|Drill rig preparation at The Australian Vanadium Project|
According to the Company, the new drilling will improve the existing drill spacing from 400 metres to approximately 140 metres. Priority planned holes are based on the thickness of the high-grade zone, V2O5 grade and the magnetitic susceptibility response.
A Mineral Resource update is underway, to incorporate the results of the earlier 2018 and 2019 drill programmes. A further update will be completed at the end of this drill programme.
Recent reprocessing of airborne magnetic data has generated a high resolution ‘Inversion Model’. The results have focused the AVL team to the southern areas, where there is an opportunity to target shallow mineralisation with high magnetic properties and further improvement to vanadium recovery. The project has already demonstrated a globally unique high vanadium and Life-Of-Mine concentrate mass recovery of 65 per cent in pre-feasibility and pilot study test work. The options present the opportunity to increase the mine life or scale of the Project and to define more transitional and fresh ore close to the surface, increasing scheduling flexibility during mining.
Managing Director Vincent Algar said that reprocessing of airborne magnetic data has focused the geology team to target areas interpreted to have more transitional mineralisation at surface, and hence better vanadium recovery though the proposed magnetic separation process.
“AVL’s significant strike position is an opportunity to selectively target materials for mining to maximise the processing plant’s capabilities,” explained Mr Algar.
“New mineral reserves that may result from this drilling aim to increase the mine life substantially. Our targeted project investors and offtake partners have indicated they value a de-risked, large resource base, with built-in flexibility for shallow open pit mining.”
The southern resource blocks within AVL’s leases contain Inferred Resources of 55.3 Mt at 0.97 per cent V2O5. Infill drilling is designed to further define and where possible re-categorise vanadium bearing mineralisation to the Indicated Resource category.
A successful drilling campaign will significantly increase the potential mine life or scale of the Project to beyond the current 17 years as defined in the PFS2 and enable better informed decisions on the optimal scale and mine life of the Project.
The identification of additional surface transitional ore along the strike allows more options for satellite pits to be included in the mine schedule, increasing the flexibility in mining. The option to blend-in greater percentages of transitional and fresh material earlier in the mine schedule could also be beneficial. The PFS contemplates the mining and processing of 1.4 million tonnes of ore per annum.