ASX-listed Mineral Commodities’ jointly owned subsidiary, Mineral Sands Resources, has been granted a prospecting right to explore at the neighbouring Inland Strand site next to its existing Western and Eastern Strand heavy mineral sands deposits in South Africa. The permit allows a resource definition program and forms part of a targeted strategy to scale-up the company’s operations at the site.
The prospecting right, known as De Punt, stretches about 13.4km in length and takes in about 49 square kilometres.
Management believes the zone offers significant exploration upside and likely hosts extensions of the Western and Eastern Strandline deposits that remain open.
Recent figures from the Western deposit point to a hearty 193 million tonnes mineral resource grading 9.5 per cent total heavy minerals, whilst its Eastern equivalent offers a 19.5 million tonnes mineral resource at 3.3 per cent total heavy minerals.
Both deposits are adjacent to each other and collectively form part of the Tormin Inland Strands deposit in the Western Cape region, about 370km north of Cape Town in South Africa.
Interestingly, Tormin are known as being amongst the highest-grade mineral sands projects in the world and hosts some of the richest occurrences of zircon, ilmenite, rutile, magnetite and garnet.
Inland Strands comprises several distinct paleo strandlines running sub-parallel to the coastline. Mineral Commodities has suggested aeromagnetic survey data indicates the deposits run continuously along the length of its tenure.
According to the company, the acquisition of De Punt fits its policy of elevating its resources beyond its existing deposits and says the application could significantly boost its current production figures.
We anticipate that the initial aeromagnetic survey and exploration drilling will quickly convert to a resource definition program and expand our existing Western and Eastern Strandline orebodies. We are particularly interested to see if the higher grades in the southern part of the Western Strandline and in some of the historic data are replicated in a more extensive drilling program.
The company has a wealth of experience in the heavy mineral sands industry having operated at Tormin for more than eight years. In that time the project has churned out and treated more than 15 million tonnes of ore at its nearby 2.6mtpa plant to produce zircon, rutile, garnet and ilmenite concentrates for export.
Commodities such as heavy mineral sands have previously been a bit of a mystery to everyday punters, however the material is gaining attention due the crucial role it plays in the global economy becoming more prevalent, with the processed ore finding its way into everyday items such as paint, paper, plastics and ceramics.
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