Tando discovers big upside at South African vanadium project

Date: May 22, 2018

Tando Resources’ newly acquired “SPD” vanadium project in South Africa is showing early similarities to the formerly producing Kennedy’s Vale mine.

Tando (ASX:TNO) has reported high grades of over 2 per cent from magnetite pipes that are similar to the magnetite pipe once mined by Xstrata at the Kennedy’s Vale mine.

The Kennedy’s Vale mine lies along strike to the north from SPD, which is located in an established vanadium production hub in the Bushveld Complex.

Kennedy’s Vale, which was mothballed in 2004 after it ran out of ore, produced around 6000 tons per year of vanadium pentoxide and 2400 tons per year of ferro-vanadium.

The mine originally produced both pig iron and vanadium, but towards the end of its life
produced only vanadium, extracted from the magnetite by chemical leaching.

Plenty of upside

The advantage of magnetite pipes is that they are almost 100 per cent magnetite meaning there is no stripping of waste material required to get to the mineral-bearing ore.

Ore from the Kennedy’s Vale mine was extracted using direct leaching, simplifies the processing and means a higher purity vanadium product.

Similarities between Tando’s SPD project and the Kennedy’s Vale mine mean Tando could also possibly mine its project using direct leaching – which would make it attractive to makers of vanadium redox flow batteries.

These types of deposits can be virtually “dig and ship” operations.

Being relatively small areas, they will be reasonably quick to drill out and if Tando can find a number of these magnetite pipes and pull together a 5-10 million tonne resource, that would provide at least five years’ worth of feed.

Selectively mining the pipes means Tando could fast track production.

Most vanadium projects globally only produce around 1-2 million tonnes each year.

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