Yellow Rock Resources (ASX:YRR) has completed reverse circulation drilling at the Gabanintha Vanadium Project in Western Australia that intersected vanadium and titanium minerals in 59 of the 63 holes drilled.
The company has now started deeper diamond drilling that will drive an upgraded resource and pit optimisation/mining studies.
A diamond drilling rig has commenced a planned program of 8 holes totalling 789 metres to gather metallurgical and geotechnical data along a 2 kilometre strike length.
All reverse circulation samples have been delivered to a laboratory in Perth for analysis and results are expected in the coming weeks.
Upon completion of the entire drilling program and receipt of all assay results, metallurgical samples with be selected from the reverse circulation samples and diamond core for beneficiation and roast/leach test work.
Yellow Rock has commenced the diamond drilling phase of the resource drilling program currently underway at the Gabanintha Vanadium Project in Western Australia's Murchison District.
This follows the successful completion of the 63 hole, 5,955 metre reverse circulation drilling component of the program that intersected the vanadiferous, titaniferous magnetite horizons in 59 holes.
In addition, three of the holes are reverse circulation pre-collars preceding diamond drill holes to be drilled in the current program.
The diamond drilling being conducted is large PQ size core, which will allow for representative samples and data to be collected for:
- Geotechnical logging and rock strength measurements (used in the determination of ground conditions and pit stability estimates);
- Structural measurements;
- Geological and mineralisation domain assessment;
- Metallurgical sampling and test work;
- Twin holes for selected RC drill holes for validation purposes.
The diamond program will consist of 8 holes totalling 789 metres, drilled at even spacing along the 2 kilometre length of the current program.
Drilling is designed to increase the level of geological and resource detail on a 2 kilometre section of the Gabanintha vanadium deposit.
The key objectives of the program are:
- To improve and increase the Resources at the Gabanintha Vanadium Project including the generation of an updated Mineral Resource Estimate;
- To increase geological definition of the resources including understanding of the oxide, transitional and fresh zones at Gabanintha;
- To conduct a series of detailed metallurgical tests on sampling of mineralisation domains to allow definitive processing studies to commence.
The zone to be drilled represents approximately 16% of the current resource strike length with significant opportunities for further infill drilling of the current Inferred Resource of 125 million tonnes at 0.70% V2O5, 8.64%TiO2, and 32.6% iron.
This includes a separate high grade Indicated and Inferred Resource of 60.4Mt at 0.98% V2O5, 11.4% TiO2 and 42.15% iron.
Upon completion of the entire drilling program and the receipt of all assay information, samples will be selected for metallurgical testing which will address beneficiation and roast/leach characteristics of the various mineralised horizons and allow open pit optimisation studies and ore characterisation to begin.
The company seeks to develop its vanadium resource to supply a high quality V2O5 flake product to the steel market and the emerging Vanadium Redox Battery (VRB) market.
Vanadium Market Developments
Yellow Rock has initiated a series of high level studies and is actively engaging with key players in the VRB market.
Research indicates that rapid acceleration in the development of renewable energy projects on a global scale is being accompanied by rapidly growing interest in the emergence of grid storage technologies.
VRB is one of the strongly emerging technologies and its uptake - along with other grid storage technologies - could have a significant effect on the vanadium market as the use of V2O5 electrolyte is a large component (50% of current cost) of the battery units.
The unique characteristics of VRB's, specifically their scalability, long lifespan cycles and the use of one battery element, make them a strong candidate to earn up to 30% of the growing energy storage market, which is expected to grow from a current 0.4GW to 40GW in just the next 7 years.
In the steel market, a vanadium supply restriction is likely after a major producer, Evraz Highveld Steel, placed its South African business into "Business Rescue", a precursor state to Voluntary Administration.
Highveld Steel produces a significant percentage of global vanadium for use in steel markets. This adds to the ongoing frozen Windimurra Mine production from Australia.
Yellow Rock Resources is seeking to develop its vanadium resource to potentially supply a high quality V2O5 flake product to the emerging Vanadium Redox Battery and vanadium steel markets.
That 59 of the 63 reverse circulation holes intersected magnetite hosted vanadium and titanium mineralisation underlines the potential of its Gabanintha Vanadium Project while diamond drilling being conducted will collect further samples for metallurgical and other work.
Results from the combined drilling program will be used to generate an updated Resource estimate, conduct metallurgical tests to allow definitive processing studies to commence, and drive pit optimisation/mining studies.
Yellow Rock is also set to be a beneficiary of a vanadium supply restriction after major producer Evraz Highveld Steel placed its South African business into administration, which adds to the ongoing freeze on production at Windimurra.
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