Sovereign has identified a potentially globally significant, strategic rutile province across its large Malawi ground holding. The Malawi Rutile Province features two confirmed, discrete rutile mineralisation styles hosted respectively in sand and saprolite (soft, friable weathered material) which are both amenable to conventional processing.
Rutile mineralisation identified to date has generally not been spatially constrained by drilling at either of the two main prospects, Kasiya (saprolite) and the Bua Channel (sand).
The Company is targeting large resources that could support long-life, large-scale rutile production.
Kasiya has the characteristics of a company making asset: large, high-grade and at surface.
Kasiya presents a mineralised zone of +5.5km strike length with surface widths averaging +2.5km. The mineralised zone continues to be open along strike in both directions and open laterally to the south east.
All mineralisation occurs from surface and is hosted in soft, free-dig, friable saprolite. A large percentage of intercepts remain open at depth with high-grade rutile mineralisation interpreted to extend to the base of the soft saprolite at around 25m.
A maiden JORC Mineral Resource Estimate is on for late Q3 2020.
Metallurgical test-work with saprolite material has demonstrated that very high-quality rutile meeting or exceeding typical market specifications can be produced.
Standout attributes include;
Bulk-scale metallurgical test-work has commenced on a 1 tonne representative sample from Kasiya.
Sovereign has identified a potentially globally significant, strategic rutile province across its large Malawi ground holding.
The Malawi Rutile Province features two confirmed, discrete rutile mineralisation styles; residual saprolite which is soft, friable weathered material (i.e. Kasiya) and traditional placer sand (i.e. Bua Channel).
Both material types are proven to be amenable to conventional processing.
Rutile mineralisation is not spatially constrained by drilling at either key prospects: Kasiya (saprolite) or Bua Channel (sand).
Regional exploration continues to identify new rutile prospects. Sovereign has a significant number of untested targets and a large amount of unexplored ground across the Company’s very large ground package.
The majority of key prospects and targets are located in close proximity to key infrastructure.
Bua channel is a high-grade, rutile dominant, sand-hosted, placer deposit within the emerging Malawi Rutile Province.
Air-core and hand-auger drilling results have extended rutile mineralisation to over 8km length.
The Bua Channel is geologically well defined over a total length of ~50km. Planning and permitting for a drilling program to test the remaining ~42km length of the channel is in progress.
Rutile is the purest, highest-grade natural form of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and is the preferred feedstock in manufacturing titanium pigment and producing titanium metal. Titanium pigments are used in paints, coatings and plastics. Titanium also has specialty uses including welding electrodes, commercial aerospace and military applications.
Global supplies of natural rutile are in structural deficit, with limited new deposits forecast to come online in the short to medium term. Global supply is continuing to decline, as a number of current operations deplete reserves and mine declining ore grades.
The rutile market fundamentals continue to be robust with current and forecast pricing remaining very strong. Current rutile pricing is cUS$1,200/t.