Mineral explorer Tando Resources (ASX: TNO) has discovered a further seven vanadium pipes that highlight “immense potential” to grow its SPD vanadium project in South Africa.
The company today reported that field activities including visual inspections, rock chip assays and a ground magnetic survey resulted in the find, which boosts the tally of identified pipes at the project up to 12.
All of the pipes are located within 3km of the central vanadium deposit at the SPD project, which has been estimated to contain a foreign resource of more than 500 million tonnes.
The pipes are considered highly prospective as they start from the surface and previously-reported assays returned high grades at over 2% vanadium pentoxide.
According to the company, this means they could be a highly valuable source of direct shipping ore (DSO) vanadium.
Tando managing director Bill Oliver said these grades were higher than most operating vanadium mines around the globe.
“The grades of the rock chip assays from the pipes are exceptional, bettered only by those from the Maracas Menchen mine in Brazil, and their proximity to the surface would make any mining operation low-cost and quick to develop,” he said.
“The existing vanadium deposit is, by itself, highly attractive due to its grade and size. But the potential to establish a high-grade DSO operation utilising these shallow pipes would be a huge game-changer for us,” Oliver added.
Tando is anticipating the results from the new pipe assays in a fortnight.
Maiden drilling campaign
Tando is currently preparing an extensive drilling program to bring the historic 500Mt resource at SPD into compliance with the JORC Code.
The 18-hole campaign will comprise both confirmatory and infill drilling, including holes to test these nearby vanadium pipes.
The company reported on Wednesday it was in the “advanced stages” of preparations.
Earlier this month, Tando said two rigs were allocated for the program but it was awaiting a mining grant for the project before the A$1.4 million program can commence.
Tando shares were up 2.78% to A$0.185 by midday trade.