Mineral Commodities announces high-grade results and new Inland Strandline discovery at Tormin

Mineral Commodities Ltd (ASX: MRC) has announced an encouraging update on the resource definition drilling at the Prospecting Right 10262PR of its Tormin project in South Africa.

The company said that up to 62% THM was intersected at Inland Strandline.

MRC said that the drilling confirms that Western strandline open along continuous strike of 5500m, 200m wide, and up to 23m thick mineralised layer.

The company noted that the near surface high-grade Total Heavy Mineral (THM) grades and Valuable Heavy Mineral (VHM) assemblage are consistent with original Tormin Beach deposit.

MRC reported that it has completed 1971m of air core drilling from 121 holes. This is 33% of 6000m program.

The company also announced the discovery of a second high-grade ‘Eastern Strandline’ running semi-parallel with existing ‘Western Strandline’.

Tormin operation

Tormin is located on South Africa’s west coast, approximately 400km north of Cape Town. It is a world-class placer beach mineral sands deposit, hosting some of the richest concentrated grades of naturally occurring zircon, ilmenite, rutile, magnetite and garnet.

MRC via its South African subsidiary Mineral Sands Resources (Pty) Ltd (MSR) holds a 50% interest in Tormin.

Prospecting Right 10262PR: In January 2020, the Company received registered Prospecting Right 10262PR to explore approximately 12km in length over the Inland Strandline area covering 1741 hectares of the coastal area immediately adjacent to the existing mining operations on the Company-owned farm Geelwal Karoo 262.

Inland Strandline: The Inland Strandline is a palaeo-marine strandline 35m above mean sea-level in an area that has undergone historical exploration since the 1930s.

Geophysics indicate that the Inland Strandline runs contiguously along the coastline of the Company’s entire granted mining and prospecting tenure as well as areas under application.

Resource definition drilling

In February 2020, the Company commenced a 7000m resource definition drilling program targeting the Inland Strandline areas adjacent to the existing Tormin mining operations, in the Western Cape province of South Africa; and adjoining Northern Beaches.

To date, 1971m of drilling from 121 aircore holes have been completed on the Inland Strandline with 1612 samples analysed. The drilling has been conducted with drill fence lines 250m apart on 20m spacings.

MRC has now provided an update on drilling results from Prospecting Right (WC 30/5/1/1/2/10262PR) that is also subject to an expanded mining application owned by the Company’s 50% South African subsidiary, Mineral Sands Resources (Pty) Ltd.

High-grade drill results

MCR announced that of the 1612 samples analysed, 29.5% (475 samples) had significant grades above 10% THM.

It may be noted that the current drilling program is targeting only 5.5km of the identified 12km long Western Strandline on Prospecting Right 10262PR.

The notable drill holes from the resource definition drilling located only 200 metres north of the current Tormin Processing Plant (all from surface) include Hole L11-11) 4m @ 61.34% THM and 7m @ 49.99% THM from 10m; Hole L11-12) 5m @ 62.52% THM and 8m @ 48.50% THM from 11m; Hole L11-13) 6m @ 58.81% THM from 12m; and Hole L11-8) 7m @ 43.29% THM from 9m.

Drill results 600 metres south of the current Tormin Processing Plant (all from surface) include Hole L6-4) 2m @ 57.41% THM from 7m; and Hole L6-5) 3m @ 53.11% THM from 6m.

Grades consistent with original deposit

The company announced that the high-grade THM mineralisation and VHM mineral assemblage observed in the laboratory results (1612 HLS and XRD analysis) of the drilling confirm the historical resource grades and are similar to the grades encountered in the first years of mining the high-grade Tormin Beach areas.

The reported VHM contains high constituent zircon, rutile ilmenite, garnet assemblage as well as anatase and magnetite.

The current drilling targeted a geophysical aeromagnetic anomaly previously identified as a buried palaeo-strandline by MSR in 2014.

The company said that to date, drilling has intersected mineralisation across the entire strike extent of 5500m, at a width of up to 200m (Drill Fence Line 11) and to a maximum depth of 23m Strandline and Orange Feldspathic Sands Mineralisation (Hole GRC L14-9, 5-28m depth).

New Inland Strandline discovery

The company announced that there is substantial data reflecting the presence of multiple palaeo strandlines running semi-parallel to the coastline and within the current Inland Strand prospecting tenure.

MRC reported that two palaeo-marine strandlines have been identified, the known Western Inland Strandline (35m above mean sea-level) and an Eastern Inland Strandline located at an average height of 86m above mean sea level.

The company said that the historical drilling (non-JORC compliant) has reportedly intersected this strandline at a depth of 31m below surface.

MRC said that the aeromagnetic data clearly identifies the Eastern Strandline and the Company intends to drill the Eastern Strandline as part of the ongoing drilling program at Tormin.

Although the main target is the high grade 35m Western strandline, MRC said that the overburden horizons above the strandline, in the form of Aeolian facies (Orange Feldspathic Sand), Erosion surface facies (Dorbank, Silcrete, Calcrete), and Red Aeolian Sands deflation zones (RAS) have also been confirmed to be mineralised.

It may be noted that these overburden facie grades have a high variance in heavy mineral concentrations and further resource modelling is required to confirm their heavy mineral grades which is present in some drill holes from surface.

Updates and next steps

The company announced that 81% of current drilling lab results have been received to date, and only 33% of the planned 6000m of drilling has been completed to date.

MRC reported that additional drilling is planned this quarter is targeting a maiden JORC resource to an Indicated and Measured category, as well as an inferred Resource over the Eastern Inland Strandline.

The company reported that the drilling activities in the Northern Beaches is ongoing, targeting Indicated Resource. The company said that the results also expected in this coming quarter.

MRC said that the drilling activities are scheduled to recommence in mid-April after the COVID-19 lockdown period in South Africa, targeting an Indicated and Measured JORC (2012) compliant Resource. The Company expressed confidence that it may be in a position to release an Indicated and Measured Resource on the Inland Strand area by the end of the June Quarter.

Management comments

MRC’s Executive Chairman Mark Caruso said: “The drilling results are outstanding and extremely encouraging, indicating a world class heavy mineral sands deposit that demonstrates Tormin could host one of the highest grade inland mineral sands resources in the world.

Based on the recent permitting approvals and these drilling results, the expansion of our world class operations at Tormin is imminent”.

Written By Jonathan Norris
Jonathan is a founder of Mining.com.au and has been covering the resources industry since 2018. With over 17 years experience in print, broadcast and online media, Jonathan has seen first hand the transformative effect of online niche media.