Critical minerals specialist Tivan (ASX:TVN) has initiated plans to completely re-estimate the mineral resource of its newly approved Speewah Fluorite Project in Western Australia.
The news comes just days after Tivan’s board formally decided to progress the fluorite project — including the commencement of a Prefeasibility Study (PFS) — following an internal assessment of the asset.
The project currently hosts a JORC-compliant inferred and indicated mineral resource estimate (MRE) of 27.2 million tonnes @ 9.5% calcium fluoride, with a high-grade component of 6.7 million tonnes @ 24.6% CaF2.
However, Tivan has now told investors that they should place ‘no reliance’ on this MRE when making investment decisions, because the company’s evaluation of the project and further exploration work in the area could ‘materially change’ the estimates.
Tivan has signed on SRK Consulting to undertake an independent validation of the project and a resource update. This work is slated for completion in March 2024.
Tivan Executive Chairman Grant Wilson said in an investor briefing on 1 February says the company was of the view that this resource update could bode well for the known fluorite at the project.
“Importantly, we believe that the fluorite resource is significantly, significantly under-represented and under-estimated in terms of the JORC classification,” Wilson said in his presentation.
“we believe that the fluorite resource is significantly, significantly under-represented and under-estimated…”
He says the company, alongside SRK, is in the process of compiling the data from multiple drill campaigns over the past several decades to make sure it is confident in the resource estimate.
“Already, we see opportunities — based upon just what’s in the data room — to increase the resource size and to improve it in terms of cut-off grades, as well.”
Wilson says the company is also planning to launch some future drilling on 4 ‘underexplored’ veins in the project area that could offer the opportunity to increase the project’s MRE even further towards the end of 2024.
Tivan has been exploring and developing its Speewah Project with vanadium in mind, but the company says the Australian Government’s inclusion of fluorine to its Critical Minerals List in December 2023 was an ‘important consideration’ for the board as it assessed the fluorite potential of the project.
Fluorite is used to produce commercial-grade fluorspar products and fluorine, and it subsequently has industrial applications in steel, aluminium, and chemical manufacturing, as well as lithium-ion batteries, solar cells, and semiconductor manufacturing.
According to Tivan, the global fluorspar market is forecast to move into a structural deficit from 2025, with the price of acid-grade fluorspar topping historical highs through 2023.
Write to Joshua Smith at Mining.com.au