Hand-auger drilling at Nsaru

Sovereign Metals makes high-grade rutile discovery near Kasiya

Sovereign Metals Limited (ASX: SVM) announced that a new area of high-grade rutile mineralisation was discovered at Nsaru, located near the Kasiya deposit in Malawi, East Africa, validating the company’s belief that it is sitting on a rutile province.

The company reported that Nsaru is currently showing high-grade rutile mineralisation from surface with widths of up to 5.5km across and a current strike length of about 9km. SVM said that the mineralisation remains open to the north and importantly to the south at its widest zone.

Sovereign had drilled a total of 39 wide-spaced, reconnaissance holes to depths of up to 14 metres, of which 34 holes showed high-grade rutile with very high-grades.

Standout intercepts included 8m at 1.1% rutile, including 4m at 1.27%; 12m at 1.22% rutile, including 4m at 1.63%; and 5m @ 1.88% rutile.

Sovereign also announced that it has secured commitments for A$8.0 million from Northern Hemisphere-based institutional investors. The placement is expected to fund exploration and development activities in Malawi, and the maiden resource estimate for Kasiya.

New Nsaru prospect

The company announced that its geological team discovered a high-grade rutile discovery, named Nsaru, during the initial wide-spaced drilling in the same geological domain as Kasiya. Natural rutile is the rarest and highest-grade source of titanium.

At this very early stage of exploration, Nsaru shows a high-grade mineralised envelope with widths of up to 5.5km across and a strike length of about 9km. Mineralisation remains open along strike to the north and to the south at its widest zone. The area of high-grade rutile mineralisation identified by drilling to date at Nsaru is approximately 25km2.

SVN noted that when added to the mineralised area at Kasiya of 66km2, Sovereign’s total high-grade mineralised footprint is approximately 91km2 and is expected to keep growing with further drilling.

39 holes drilled

The company said that initially 39 wide-spaced, reconnaissance hand-auger holes were drilled for a total of 371m to test the Nsaru target. SVN said that over 87% of the holes drilled intersected high-grade rutile mineralisation generally in the top 8-12m of the weathering profile.

SVN reported that 34 holes showed high-grade rutile with very high-grades shown in the top 3-5m from surface including 8m @ 1.10% inc. 4m @ 1.27% rutile; 11m @ 1.24% inc. 5m @ 1.56% rutile; 12m @ 1.22% inc. 4m @ 1.63% rutile; 9m @ 1.38% inc. 4m @ 1.43% rutile; 12m @ 1.15% inc. 3m @ 2.05% rutile; 11m @ 1.30% inc. 4m @ 1.48% rutile; 13m @ 1.27% inc. 4m @ 1.62% rutile; 9m @ 1.05% inc. 4m @ 1.37% rutile; 10m @ 1.11% inc. 4m @ 1.48% rutile; and 5m @ 1.88% rutile.

Funding through Institutional Placement

Sovereign announced that it has secured commitments for A$8.0 million gross proceeds from Northern Hemisphere-based institutional investors to subscribe for 20,000,000 new ordinary shares at an issue price of A$0.40 plus a one-for-two unlisted option with an exercise price of A$0.50 and 12 month expiry.

Sprott Capital Partners LP acted as exclusive financial adviser to the Placement, with affiliates of the Sprott Group participating in the Placement.

The company said that the Placement will fund exploration and development activities on the Company’s strategic rutile province in Malawi with the maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) at Kasiya expected in the next quarter.

Updates and next steps

Sovereign said that the laboratory processing of 2021 drilling samples on the saprolite prospects is continuing. The company said that the drilling is ongoing at the Nsaru prospect to further expand the area of known rutile mineralisation.

The company said that its forward plan includes a maiden Mineral Resource Estimate for Kasiya, expected to cover a substantial portion of its extensive 66km2 mineralised footprint; continued step-out and extensional drilling at Kasiya, Nsaru, and the broader surrounding area to identify extensions and discover new regional mineralised zones; and mining and tailings studies continue and will feed into a future Scoping Study.

SVM announced that the metallurgical variability test-work is in the final planning stages on three separate samples representative of the different regolith units from Kasiya. The company said that the investigation and further test-work for a potential coarse-flake graphite by-product from Kasiya; and re-examination of the Company’s Malingunde Graphite Project in light of renewed market interest for graphite, particularly related to sustainability and the Li-ion battery sector is also planned.

Management statements

Sovereign’s Managing Director Julian Stephens said: “The new high-grade rutile discovery at Nsaru confirms we have one of the largest and globally significant rutile provinces on our hands. We are looking forward to the maiden JORC resource estimate for Kasiya next quarter, which we believe will put the Company on the path toward eventually delineating one of the largest rutile deposits in the world. The emergence of this new, globally significant rutile province has been strongly endorsed by the high-calibre of the investors who participated in the Placement. We are now well funded to continue accelerating our activities, with a number of key milestones to be met over the coming months.”

*Image Source: Sovereign Metals Limited

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.