Tando Resources (ASX: TNO) aims to verify the historic resource at its SPD vanadium project in South Africa with a maiden drilling campaign due to start in the coming weeks and two rigs allocated for the program.
The historic SAMREC Code (2007) resource stands at 500 million tonnes grading 0.78% vanadium and Tando is planning to update this within two months of starting the phase one campaign.
The program will comprise 18 holes for 1,650m with both reverse circulation and diamond drill rigs panned for use.
However, the company is awaiting a mining right grant for the project to be able to kick-off the A$1.4 million campaign.
In addition to firming up the previous resource, Tando plans to drill five holes for about 500m across the magnetite pipes that have been identified at the project and returned whole rock samples of 2.08% vanadium and 2.02% vanadium.
Tando believes the high-grade magnetite pipes could be a potential source of direct shipping ore to its customers.
Earlier this month, Tando reported metallurgical test work on the high-grade pipe samples had yielded a concentrate assaying 2.03% vanadium and 13.3% titanium with minimal waste materials.
This was achieved through wet low intensity magnetic separation and according to Tando, the SPD pipe mineralisation was “highly amenable” to the simple processing method.
Once the maiden campaign has been completed, a phase two program has been planned that will comprise 58 holes for 5,550m, which the company hopes to use to update the resource to indicated status.
Tando anticipates the results from the second campaign will be incorporated into a scoping study which is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
SPD and the vanadium market
According to Tando, 85% of the world’s vanadium comes out of China, Russia and South Africa. SPD is within a known vanadium producing region in South Africa and is in a similar geological setting to known operators.
As a result, the project has the advantage of proximity to critical infrastructure including power, rail, water, sealed roads and a skilled workforce.
Meanwhile, interest in vanadium is growing due to its use in vanadium redox flow batteries, which are used to store energy in numerous applications including solar and wind farms.
The vanadium battery technology was developed in Australia and is believed to outperform other batteries by lasting up to 20-years giving it a large advantage over other batteries with much shorter life spans.
Additionally, the vanadium battery can hold charge for up to 12 months and the infrastructure is scalable.
Tando also pointed out the surging vanadium price which has risen from US$3.50 per pound in early 2017 to its current price of US$15/lb.
Shares in Tando remained steady at A$0.235 in late morning trade.