Golden Deeps (ASX: GED) has intersected thick intervals of high-grade vanadium during the first phase of its 2019 resource definition program at the Abenab project in Namibia.
The phase one resource definition drilling program kicked-off in April and finished up last month comprising 23 holes for 3,638m.
The campaign included infill diamond drill holes into the existing resource and shallow reverse circulation holes around the historic open pit.
A notable thick intersection within the Abenab resource was 64.18m at 0.90% vanadium pentoxide, 2.01% lead and 0.65% zinc from 207m, including 19m at 1.25% vanadium pentoxide, 2.73% lead, and 0.878% zinc from 230m.
A second hole was drilled on the margin of the existing resource and targeted up-dip extensions. This hole uncovered 10.68m at 0.26% vanadium pentoxide, 0.57% lead and 0.17% zinc from 167m, and 5.8m at 0.3% vanadium pentoxide, 0.92% lead and 0.3% zinc from 203m.
Meanwhile, surface drilling around the historic pit returned a best result of 3m at 0.62% vanadium pentoxide.
“The initial results from our phase one resource definition and development drilling program are very positive and highlight the real potential that exists at Abenab for a further increase in the size of the existing resource,” Golden Deeps chairman Michael Minosora said.
He added results are likely to boost the existing inferred resource of 2.8 million tonnes at 0.66% vanadium, 2.35% lead, and 0.94% zinc.
“This is a fantastic result for the company and its shareholders given we only recently upgraded the resource earlier this year and whilst we await some results from phase one, we are looking forward to commencing phase two drilling in Q42019.”
In the upcoming program, Golden Deeps plans to further test the vanadium mineralisation around the open pit.
An auger sampling campaign will also assess unconstrained tailings that extend for about 1km from the old processing plant.
Abenab vanadium project
Golden Deeps plans to fast-track Abenab to development and is looking at a 500,000 tonne per annum operation to produce an 18-21% vanadium pentoxide concentrate.
Under the current exploration initiative, Golden Deeps hopes to firm up more than 3Mt of vanadium pentoxide bearing ore that is economically mineable.
According to Golden Deeps, metallurgical test work has proven a low-cost gravity separation process can generate a high-grade vanadium, lead and zinc concentrate grading up to 21% vanadium pentoxide, 14% zinc and 53% lead.
The company is targeting first production in 2020 and plans to supply its concentrate to refineries.
To generate earlier cashflow and exploit the existing tailings and stockpiles at Abenab, Golden Deeps secured a joint venture agreement with Hong Kong-based Generous Metals Company in April this year.
The agreement allows for the use and sale of the project’s existing stockpiles and tailings.
Generous Metals and Golden Deeps will process the feedstock using a 250,000tpa crushing and concentrator plant, with concentrated product to then be shipped to China for refining.
Shares in Golden Deeps had slipped 3.85% to $0.025 by late morning trade.