Bushveld Minerals Announces Resource Upgrade for Vametco Mine

The company believes a significantly longer production life as a result of the upgrade.

Bushveld Minerals Limited (AIM:BMN) has revealed an updated resource estimate for the Vametco vanadium mine, in South Africa, following successful drilling operations.

The company highlighted that:

· Ore Reserves have more than doubled to 279,100 tonnes V2O5 in magnetite (previously 137,152 tonnes V2O5 in magnetite), notwithstanding production of approximately 5,700 metric tonnes of vanadium (between October 2017 and March 2019) while the grade has increased by 3 per cent to 2.02 per cent V2O5 (previously 1.96 per cent V2O5).

· Indicated Resources have increased by 187 per cent. to 965,900 tonnes of V2O5 in magnetite (previously 336,604 tonnes V2O5 in magnetite).

· The recently drilled holes added further confidence to the Mineral Resource resulting in a higher ratio of Indicated Mineral Resource to the Inferred Mineral Resources, constituting 75 per cent. of the Total Mineral Resource.

· The aggregate Inferred and Indicated Mineral Resource is distributed across three Seams (The Lower, Intermediate and Upper Seams) and is reported as 186.7 Mt at an average grade of 1.98 per cent V2O5 (in magnetite), with an average magnetite content of 35.0 per cent (in whole rock) for 719,300 tonnes of contained vanadium.

· Within this, the Ore Reserve in the Probable Category is reported as 48.4 Mt across the same three seams at an average grade of 2.02 per cent V2O5 (in magnetite), with an average magnetite content of 28.5 per cent (in whole rock) for 156,300 tonnes of vanadium.

· The Lower Seam is the main ore seam and the thickest, ranging from 13.8 to 52.0 metres in thickness, comprising a Probable Reserve of 40.2 Mt at an average grade of 2.05 per cent V2O5 (in magnetite), with an average magnetite content of 29.4 per cent (in whole rock) for 135,600 tonnes of vanadium.

· The 31 per cent increase in the 2019 Mineral Resource over the 2017 estimate is primarily attributed to reporting the Mineral Resource to a maximum depth of 150m below surface, versus 120m in 2017.

· A relatively higher grade in the 2019 estimate resulted from better definition of the mineralised units due to the recent drilling, which allowed the re-scrutinising of historical data. This, together with reporting the Mineral Resource at a cut-off grade of 20 per cent magnetite (previously no cut-off grade was applied), resulted in a higher-grade Mineral Resource than in 2017, particularly for the Upper Seam that is now defined as a layer of massive magnetite.

· The increase in the ore tonnages for the 2019 Ore Reserve estimate from 26.12 Mt to 48.43 Mt is due to the Mineral Resource definition work on the Intermediate and Upper Seams, which resulted in reclassification to the Indicated category, resulting in the conversion of an additional 8.19 Mt of Ore Reserves within the selected pit design. The additional 14.11 Mt of Ore Reserves from the Lower Seam is due to the larger pit shell from a Whittle pit optimisation based on the overall improved economics.

· The magnetite content grade increase in the Ore Reserves from 26.8 per cent to 28.5 per cent is a direct result of the increase in magnetite content in the Mineral Resources. The impact of this translates to additional potential ore production and vanadium through the processing plant.
“Following a significant amount of exploration work, including drilling to greater depths, as well as a reinterpretation of the geological model to include the cut-off grade of the magnetite, we have been able to report a significant increase in ore reserves and grade from the 2017 estimate,” said Fortune Mojapelo, CEO of Bushveld Minerals Limited.

“The conversion of additional indicated mineral resources to probable ore reserves, plus the larger pit shell, means we have added significant increased production life at Vametco.

“In fact, even at the future expanded rates of production we have previously laid out, this mine will operate for decades into the future.”