ASX-listed Mustang Resources’ strategy to develop the Caula vanadium-graphite project in Mozambique is well on track with the appointment of highly regarded specialists Bara International to undertake the scoping study.
Mozambique - Bara is an engineering consultancy based in Johannesburg, South Africa with extensive experience in African graphite and vanadium.
“This appointment is another key step in our strategy to be in production at Caula by the middle of next year. We have multiple work streams underway to deliver a maiden vanadium JORC resource and an upgraded graphite resource along with metallurgical testing for an integrated vanadium and graphite processing flowsheet. We are also awaiting the results of ore-sorting test work in Australia,” says Mustang Resources MD Dr Bernard Olivier.
Vanadium and graphite assay results
Vanadium and graphite sample analysis on the remaining three drill holes from the 2017 scoping study drilling campaign is currently being completed by SGS South Africa with final results expected within the next two weeks.
Once received, the project’s ‘competent person’ will immediately finalise the incorporation of the results into the geological and resource model and enable the estimation of the maiden JORC complaint vanadium resource as well as an upgraded JORC compliant graphite resource.
Ore sorting test work and results
Mustang Resources dispatched initial Caula core samples to TOMRA Sorting Solutions in Castle Hill, Australia for trial ore sorting test work to determine the suitability of Caula’s ore for upgrading through the application of its proprietary technology.
Once the initial results are received, an ore sorting test work campaign will be conducted.
Metallurgical test work
Dual metallurgical test work is currently well advanced with IMO and Nagrom Laboratories in Perth, Australia. The outcome of these studies will seek to confirm the graphite metallurgy and processing flowsheet as well as provide the company with more information on the extraction of vanadium from the mica-roscoelite minerals contained in the Caula ore.
The company expects initial results to be available before mid-June 2018.
Maiden vanadium JORC inferred and indicated resource
Following the receipt of the outstanding assay results from SGS and the completion of metallurgical testing, the ‘competent person’ will estimate a maiden vanadium JORC inferred & indicated resource for Caula.
Mustang Resources expects this to be completed and announced to the market by the end of June 2018/start of July 2018.
Upgraded graphite JORC inferred resource
In conjunction with the maiden JORC complaint inferred vanadium resource, the company’s ‘competent person’ will also complete an upgraded JORC inferred resource for the Caula graphite resource which, owing to the 11 additional DD holes drilled in December 2017, is expected to increase the maiden 5 Mt @ 13% TGC estimate significantly. The upgraded JORC resource is also expected by end-June 2018.
Scoping study: mine design and integrated vanadium-graphite processing plant design
The above milestones are all integral components of the Caula scoping study expected to be finalised by end-July 2018 with the goal of providing initial economic parameters for an integrated vanadium and graphite processing plant with a staged deployment.
Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) campaign
Initial work that forms part of the DFS has commenced. The DFS study will require additional drilling using a combination of reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling (DD) to upgrade the JORC resource.
The company is also planning to extract a large bulk sample for export to China which will enable additional large scale metallurgical and plant design test work, as well as produce concentrate for trial marketing.
Mustang Resources is targeting completion of the DFS by end of calendar 2018.
The company remains committed to delivering first vanadium and graphite cash flow from the stage 1 development of Caula by H1, 2019.