Tando Resources (ASX: TNO) plans to begin a ground magnetic survey at its recently acquired SPD vanadium project in South Africa’s Bushveld Complex, where it is focused on discovering more magnetic “pipes”, with rock samples from other pipes across the project returning more than 2% vanadium pentoxide.
Should the company find more high-grade pipes across SPD, it believes the project could produce a “direct shipping” material that could be sold directly to end-users without further processing.
Earlier this month, preliminary exploration unearthed 2.08% vanadium and 2.02% vanadium in whole rock samples.
According to Tando, since it uncovered the high-grade vanadium, the company has been “investigating the potential for further pipes to be present within the SPD vanadium project from a number of different sources”.
The company reviewed historic reports and mapping, which pinpointed the presence of three pipes “up to 200m in length” within the project’s eastern region.
However, their width is yet to be determined.
Tando claims the dimensions of the three pipes could be “comparable” to the pipes that have already been explored and measured 200m by 150m, and 350m by 150m.
Early studies on the first pipes showed the first layers of magnetite contained the “most enriched” vanadium, with the grade decreasing in successive layers.
Tando’s theory is “any pipes occurring to the east of the magnetite layers previously drilled, such as the ones identified from historical mapping, should contain higher vanadium grades relative to the pipes sampled and layers drilled”.
As part of the ground magnetic survey, Tando also hopes to identify pipes currently hidden under cover.
The company’s next step will be to test the extent of vanadium mineralisation under the surface of the pipes in its upcoming drilling program.
Tando will then determine the potential for the pipes to be included in the updated mineral resource and future scoping studies.
SPD vanadium project
In March this year, Tando entered a heads of agreement to earn up to 74% of SPD, with the other 26% stake retained by BEE entities including the Steelpoort Development Trust.
Previous operators of SPD delineated a resource under the SAMREC Code (2007) of 513.3 million tonnes grading 0.78% vanadium.
Earlier exploration also uncovered multiple, near-surface, thick and high-grade vanadium and titanium intersections, with one returning 14m grading 1.08% vanadium and 7.07% titanium.
Initial metallurgical studies on ore samples has produced concentrate grading 2% vanadium and 13% titanium.
SPD is in a region known for its vanadium prospectivity, which contains critical infrastructure including power, rail links, water resources, sealed roads around the project area and multiple mining service companies and skilled workers in the region to draw on.
Tando is planning to fast-track exploration and development of SPD and will evaluate a low capital expenditure start-up scenario.