Sovereign Metals Limited (ASX: SVM) has announced an outstanding update on the Kasiya Prospect within its Malawi Rutile Province, East Africa.
The company reported that +1.8km estimated true surface width of high-grade rutile mineralisation was confirmed with strike length currently unconstrained and open in both directions.
Key shallow drilling results received to date include 7m @ 1.27% rutile inc. 3m @ 1.80% rutile from surface; 8m @ 1.17% rutile inc. 5m @ 1.30% rutile from surface; 14m @ 0.92% rutile inc. 3m @ 1.38% rutile from surface; 13m @ 1.09% rutile inc. 3m @ 1.27% rutile at depth (EOH); and 10m @ 1.06% rutile inc. 4m @ 1.46% rutile at depth (EOH).
The company noted that all primary intercepts commence at surface.
SVM reported that 14 of 19 holes drilled intersected the high-grade rutile zone with 11 of these 14 exhibiting +1% rutile grades from surface. The company said that high-grade rutile occurs down to 13m, averages ~8m thick and remains open at depth in a number of holes.
The company said that substantial extensional and in-fill drill program at Kasiya continues with a second batch of samples already despatched to Perth for laboratory analysis. SVM reported that additional results are pending for the initial drill-tested 8km of the Bua Channel Prospect.
Malawi Rutile province
Sovereign’s wholly-owned Malawi tenements cover more than 4,000 square kilometres. The rutile is found in soft, free-dig saprolite, which extends to a depth of about 25m.
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 is used in the manufacture of ceramics, as a pigment, and for the production of titanium metal.
Significant prospects within Malwai includes Bua Channel prospect, the Railroad prospect, Railroad West prospect, and Kasiya prospect.
Drilling at Kasiya
The company had recently commenced maiden drilling at the Kasiya Prospect.
A total of 19 shallow hand-auger holes for 195m over two drill-lines were completed at Kasiya in January 2020.
SVM reported that it has received quantitative laboratory results for this maiden drill program which display very extensive, high-grade rutile from surface hosted in soft, friable saprolite.
The company said that majority of the near surface, high-grade zones are relatively consistent over significant lateral distances.
The company said that the initial shallow drilling results at Kasiya have confirmed high-grade rutile mineralisation over a potentially large area, which remains mostly unconstrained by drilling to date.
High-grade drill results
SVM announced that 14 of the 19 holes drilled intersected the interpreted high-grade rutile zone with 11 of these 14 well-mineralised holes exhibiting +1% rutile grades from surface.
First phase results from shallow hand-auger results with 19 holes received to date include 7m @ 1.27% rutile inc. 3m @ 1.80% rutile at surface; 8m @ 1.17% rutile inc 5m @ 1.30% rutile at surface; 14m @ 0.92% rutile inc. 3m @ 1.38% rutile at surface; 13m @ 1.09% rutile inc. 3m @ 1.27% rutile at surface; and 10m @ 1.06% rutile inc. 4m @ 1.46% rutile from 6m (EOH)
Large target area
The company said that the results show a large target area with mineralisation currently identified over +1.8km estimated true surface width.
SVM reported that the two drill lines were about 1.1km apart along strike with mineralisation remaining unconstrained and open in both directions.
The company said that high-grade rutile was encountered as far as 13m below surface in some holes and has an average thickness of approximately 8m. SVM noted that high-grade rutile mineralisation remains broadly open in all directions laterally, and in some areas at depth i.e. +13m.
Near Railroad prospect
Kasiya is within regional proximity to the previously announced Railroad saprolite-hosted prospects which suggests the potential for cumulatively large to very large tonnages of rutile mineralisation within a small radius across a number of prospects.
The Company reported that it is now continuing with a substantial drilling program primarily to determine areal extent, depth, and grade of rutile mineralisation with a view to targeting a JORC resource later in 2020. The drilling is ongoing at the Kasiya prospect.
The company said that the laboratory processing of 2020 drilling samples on the saprolite prospects continues.
SVM reported that additional results are pending for the initial drill-tested 8km of the Bua Channel Prospect (sand-hosted) with further extensional drilling over its full ~50km length in the advanced planning stage.
Sovereign’s Managing Director Dr. Julian Stephens said: “These are the best drill results Sovereign has achieved since commencing rutile exploration in Malawi. Kasiya is a new, high-grade, free-dig, saprolite-hosted zone of rutile mineralisation.
The majority of the highest-grade zones are at surface and grades overall are consistent over significant lateral distances. We believe Kasiya and surrounding prospects could collectively develop into a large rutile deposit cluster.
Sovereign is now in an enviable position with two high-priority rutile prospects identified at Kasiya (saprolite) and Bua Channel (sand). These prospects will be the target of extensional and infill drilling in 2020 in order to define JORC mineral resource estimates.
We are looking forward to updating the market as we continue to unlock this potentially globally significant and strategic rutile province.”