Exploration drilling unearths more high-grade rutile at Kasiya

By Wahard Betha

ASX-listed Sovereign Metals, which is prospecting for rutile and graphite at Kasiya in Lilongwe, says its deep air-core (AC) drilling program has extended substantial zones of high-grade rutile mineralisation to depth beneath initial planned open pit shells with main areas averaging ~15m depth.

In a press statement, Managing Director for Sovereign Metals Julian Stephens says the drilling results from the Company’s targeted newly defined high-grade rutile and graphite mineralisation at depths >15m is consistent and occurs in coherent blocks.

He explains that the results confirm that rutile and graphite mineralisation is continuous from surface down to the top of saprock generally at 20-25m vertical depth in key mineralised areas and it has highlighted the potential for the mining pits to be extended at depth.

Stephens says: “We are really pleased with the continued success from the deep air-core program which is confirming the potential for several pit expansions at depth.”

“It remains a very busy time for the Company as we continue to receive drilling results and our Pre-feasibility Study is approaching a peak level of activity.”

The completed 191-hole AC drilling program was divided into an initial 32-hole sighter phase with results previously reported on September 8, 2022 and a second more expansive 159-hole phase. 

Stephens explains that these results of 61 holes of 159 for 1,298m are the first batch of the expansive phase with results for the remaining 98 Holes for 2,548m pending. 

The sighter phase AC drilling program focused on mineralised corridors where high-grade rutile mineralisation was hypothesised to persist at depth of which after validation, the company shifted its focus to a second phase concentrating on depth extensions to the early-scheduled mining pit shells.

He says the pit 15 revealed the most pronounced, deep mineralised corridor, illustrated in the 1.4km long section where rutile and graphite mineralisation was seen to be pervasive throughout the saprolite zone. 

Stephens also says Pit 13 is proposed to be the first block in the mining schedule as it showed considerable rutile mineralisation outside and below the current block model and optimised pit shell. 

Sovereign is progressing the PFS which will build on the June 2022 Expanded Scoping Study (ESS) that confirmed Kasiya as one of the world’s largest and lowest cost producer of natural rutile and natural graphite with a carbon-footprint substantially lower than current alternatives.

The 2022 AC drilling program is the first major PFS activity completed. The program was designed to extend Indicated zones at depth to base of saprolite ~25m, from the current ~14m average drill depth.

Drilling was completed on a 200m x 200m grid to target indicated classification which after receiving the final batch assays will be modelled to update the JORC resource estimate which is planned for first quarter 2023.  

ens says the drilling results from the Company’s targeted newly defined high-grade rutile and graphite mineralisation at depths >15m is consistent and occurs in coherent blocks.

He explains that the results confirm that rutile and graphite mineralisation is continuous from surface down to the top of saprock generally at 20-25m vertical depth in key mineralised areas and it has highlighted the potential for the mining pits to be extended at depth.

Stephens says: “We are really pleased with the continued success from the deep air-core program which is confirming the potential for several pit expansions at depth.”

“It remains a very busy time for the Company as we continue to receive drilling results and our Pre-feasibility Study is approaching a peak level of activity.”

The completed 191-hole AC drilling program was divided into an initial 32-hole sighter phase with results previously reported on September 8, 2022 and a second more expansive 159-hole phase. 

Stephens explains that these results of 61 holes of 159 for 1,298m are the first batch of the expansive phase with results for the remaining 98 Holes for 2,548m pending. 

The sighter phase AC drilling program focused on mineralised corridors where high-grade rutile mineralisation was hypothesised to persist at depth of which after validation, the company shifted its focus to a second phase concentrating on depth extensions to the early-scheduled mining pit shells.

He says the pit 15 revealed the most pronounced, deep mineralised corridor, illustrated in the 1.4km long section where rutile and graphite mineralisation was seen to be pervasive throughout the saprolite zone. 

Stephens also says Pit 13 is proposed to be the first block in the mining schedule as it showed considerable rutile mineralisation outside and below the current block model and optimised pit shell. 

Sovereign is progressing the PFS which will build on the June 2022 Expanded Scoping Study (ESS) that confirmed Kasiya as one of the world’s largest and lowest cost producer of natural rutile and natural graphite with a carbon-footprint substantially lower than current alternatives.

The 2022 AC drilling program is the first major PFS activity completed. The program was designed to extend Indicated zones at depth to base of saprolite ~25m, from the current ~14m average drill depth.

Drilling was completed on a 200m x 200m grid to target indicated classification which after receiving the final batch assays will be modelled to update the JORC resource estimate which is planned for first quarter 2023.  

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