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Sovereign expands drill program at Kasiya Rutile-Graphite Project

May 23, 2024 / Modester Mwalija
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Sovereign conducting drilling works in Kasiya

By Modester Mwalija

ASX-listed Sovereign Metals says it has initiated a follow-up 400 metre spaced drill program at its tier one Kasiya Rutile-Graphite Project in Lilongwe.

Sovereign metals MD Frank Eagar says in a statement that the program will focus on determining the boundaries and extent of mineralisation north of the known Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) area.

 “The 70+ hole hand-auger drill program has been designed to target areas where mineralisation was identified in earlier wide-spaced regional hand-auger drilling. The target area is up to 20km north of the current MRE boundary,” Eager states.

Eagar says that the drilling, currently underway, will be completed in the coming weeks and to ensure smooth operations, four hand-auger teams have been deployed under the supervision of Sovereign’s in-country technical team.

For sample analysis, Eagar states that samples will be initially processed in the Company’s Lilongwe laboratory facility and then shipped for final analysis at certified international laboratories.

“Results from the drill program are expected in the coming weeks,” he says.

Earlier this year, the Company released an announcement regarding the results of regional hand-auger drilling conducted south of the Kasiya MRE footprint. The results revealed significant strike extensions of approximately 8km across multiple parallel mineralised zones ranging from 400m to 2km in width.

Eager clarifies that all the newly defined mineralization in the south remains open at depth and represents the potential to expand the already significant high-grade Rutile and Graphite Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) at Kasiya.

“All newly defined mineralisation in the south remains open at depth due to the limitations of the hand-auger drilling method but are expected to continue to the saprock boundary normally between 20 and 30 vertical metres from surface”, says Eager.

In September 2023, Sovereign released a Pre-Feasibility Study confirming that Kasiya has the potential to emerge as one of the world’s largest and lowest-cost producers of natural rutile and natural graphite, with a remarkably lower carbon footprint compared to current alternatives.

The findings of the Pre-feasibility study also confirmed Kasiya as a major critical minerals project, possessing a substantial low carbon footprint while delivering major volumes of natural rutile and graphite and generating significant economic returns.

The proposed large-scale operation in Kasiya aims to process soft, friable mineralisation mined from surface with its valuable location boasting excellent infrastructure, including bitumen roads, a high quality rail line connecting to the deep-water port of Nacala and access to hydro-sourced grid power.

Natural rutile is a genuinely scarce commodity, with no other known large rutile dominant deposits being discovered in over half a century. Kasiya is now shown to be the largest single rutile deposit in the world, with central Malawi now hosting the largest known rutile province in the world.

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