Owners of Australia’s largest vanadium-titanium-in-magnetite deposit – the Speewah Dome, southwest of Kununurra in far north Western Australia - say the project’s tenure is now at a stage it is likely to have specific appeal to overseas resources investors, particularly from China.
Speaking at the annual Australian Resources Chinese Investment Congress (ARCIC) in South Australia, Speewah Metals’ executive director Richard Wolanski said that in the current global metals climate for large projects supporting the steel industry, Speewah Dome had emerged as a strategic investment opportunity for a Chinese partner.
“Such an alliance would assist Speewah Dome across three levels,” he said. “It could accelerate development of the project’s vanadium, titanium and iron potential, develop associated fluorite opportunities, and fund continued exploration for its underlying copper, gold, silver and platinum mineralization.
“Backing that effort, we have embarked in recent weeks on the largest exploration program yet which aims at doubling the already sizeable resource to take it to above 6 billion tonnes vanadium-titanium. This exhaustive 2011 agenda will comprise a 2000 line kilometre maiden heli-borne electromagnetic survey, up to 15,000 metres of reverse circulation drilling, and 5000 metres of diamond drilling.
“Our objective by the end of year is to achieve an additional 2.5 billion tonnes of vanadium titanium resource so that we can deliver a material increase in measured and indicated estimates, and determine the potential to extract titanium and alongside feasibility work already completed on vanadium last year, potentially multiplying project value.”
The project’s 575sqkm footprint is 100%-owned by Speewah Metals and contains 3.6 billion tonnes of 0.35% vanadium and 2.0% titanium, including a high grade zone comprising about half of the resource.
The company’s development objective includes upgrading the tenor of the two mineralized styles to achieve higher concentrate values of 2.48% vanadium and 14.82% titanium.
It also boasts an indicated and inferred fluorite resource of 6.7 million tonnes @ 24.5% fluorite nearby which would share infrastructure, thereby improving profitability.
Richard Wolanski said the project’s copper gold silver potential remained a critical objective of the 2011 exploration program as the mineralization had been identified along more than 80km of major fault systems and “could bring a new high value proposition to what the company considers is already a multi-commodity project”.