Tando Resources (ASX: TNO) finished its phase one drilling campaign at the SPD vanadium project on a high, with final assays revealing the company had struck up to 1.74% vanadium pentoxide.
The numerous high-grade assays will underpin a maiden JORC resource, which is due shortly.
Highlight results from the last assays of the phase one drilling campaign at SPD were 18m at 0.80% vanadium pentoxide from surface, including 4m at 1.16% vanadium pentoxide and 4m at 0.94% vanadium pentoxide; and 11m at 0.98% vanadium pentoxide from 24m with two higher grade intervals of 9m at 1.15% vanadium pentoxide and 2m at 1.65% vanadium pentoxide.
The highest-grade intersection was 12m at 1% vanadium pentoxide from 46m, including intervals of 9m at 1.13% vanadium pentoxide and 2m at 1.74% vanadium pentoxide.
“These latest results continue to demonstrate the high quality of the SPD vanadium deposit and will further strengthen the impending maiden JORC resources,” Tando managing director Bill Oliver said.
SPD vanadium project advances
After receiving the latest results from the initial program, Tando can now calculate a maiden JORC resource, which it hopes to publish before Christmas.
A second drilling campaign is underway at the primary SPD deposit, which has a foreign SAMREC resource of 513 million tonnes at 0.78% vanadium pentoxide.
The primary aim of this second drilling program at the primary SPD deposit is to upgrade the maiden JORC resource to indicated.
Three drill rigs are operating across the deposit and have completed 38-holes for 3,148m, with the entire second phase campaign to total 58-holes for 5,550m.
Meanwhile, only last week, Tando mobilised a fourth drill rig to the project to test the high-grade vanadium pipes that have been uncovered across the project.
The rig was transported to the Cluster 5 target where previous surface samples revealed multiple insitu whole rock grades in excess of 2% vanadium pentoxide.
According to Tando, the fourth rig will test the target before the company commits funding to develop road infrastructure at the site.
Drilling across the vanadium pipes is running concurrently with the campaign at the primary SPD deposit.
Tando is hoping the pipes will prove amenable to a direct shipping ore operation to generate early cash flow while it advances the SPD deposit.
Drilling at the initial Cluster 1 high-grade pipe target has now been completed with Tando eagerly awaiting assays.
“The strategy to establish a direct shipping ore operation or similar high-grade, near-term production opportunity utilising material from the nearby vanadium pipes is also on track, with the drilling program making strong progress,” Mr Oliver said.
“The combination of these parallel activities will underpin strong news flow for many months,” he added.
Around 85% of the world’s vanadium arises from China, Russia and South Africa.
There are less than a handful of major primary vanadium producing mines around the world, with South Africa hosting vanadium majors LSE-listed Glencore and AIM-listed Bushveld Minerals’ operations.
Because SPD is in one of these vanadium producing regions, Tando believes the project has the potential to be a “globally significant” operation based on its tonnage and grade in concentrate.
In less than two years, the vanadium price has rocketed a whopping 840% and has remained above US$33 per pound for several weeks after languishing below US$5/lb between 2015 and early 2017.
The price rise has been driven by the growing steel sector, including China’s new steel rebar standards, and the emerging vanadium redox flow battery industry.