The high-grade mineralised envelope at Sovereign Metals’ (ASX: SVM) Kasiya rutile deposit in Malawi has grown by more than a third thanks to recently completed drilling.
The mineral sands explorer today reported a 35% increase in the size of the mineralised zone to 89sq km following phase nine drill results from more than 200 samples.
This extension brings the company’s total drilled area of high-grade rutile mineralisation in Malawi to 114sq km, also comprising the 25sq km Nsaru deposit.
According to Sovereign, the drill results continued to demonstrate that significant rutile enrichment occurs in the top 8m from surface with very-high grades, commonly greater than 1.5% rutile occurring within 3-5m from surface.
Best results from the phase nine campaign included: 11m at 1.78% rutile, including 8m at 2.01% rutile; 14m at 1.3%, including 5m at 1.8% rutile; 13m at 1.08%, including 5m at 1.52% rutile; 11m at 1.34%, including 5m at 1.54% rutile; and 11m at 1.17%, including 5m at 1.48% rutile.
Sovereign said in most cases, drill depth was restricted by the hand-auger equipment capacity and “it is assumed that free-dig rutile mineralisation should continue vertically to the base of saprolite estimated at approximately 25m depth from surface”.
Results to be incorporated into Kasiya’s maiden resource estimate
Sovereign managing director Dr Julian Stephens said this was the final batch of results the company has been awaiting in order to complete the dataset required for its maiden Kasiya JORC resource estimate.
The resource estimate is expected to cover a large portion of the 89sq km mineralised footprint and is targeted for completion in the “coming weeks”.
“These very large, high-grade areas of mineralisation may well become one of the largest primary rutile deposits in the world,” Dr Stephens said.
“Unlocking a new, globally significant source of direct feed natural rutile could help meet the growing demand for low carbon feedstock across the titanium industry supply chain,” he added.
Further drilling plans
Further step-out drilling at Kasiya and Nsaru is continuing with multiple drilling teams having been deployed to target additional rutile mineralisation that could potentially add to future resources.
Following the release of Kasiya’s maiden resource estimate, extensional and infill hand-auger and core drilling is planned as well as a scoping study.