A resource estimate at the Ruoni Flats block of the Tenge/Ruoni prospect within Baobab Resources’ flagship Tete pig iron, vanadium and titanium project has pushed the company’s global resource inventory to 665 million tonnes.
Ruoni Flats has an inferred resource of 183 million tonnes with an average concentrate grade of 61.4% iron, 0.9% vanadium and 9.4% titanium.
The estimate comes after the completion of the 2012 drilling season, which saw 16,300 metres completed at the Ruoni North, Ruoni South and Tenge blocks. The updated indicated resource estimates are expected to be finalized this month.
Baobab’s managing director Ben James says, “Baobab is now able to realistically consider significantly larger production options at Tete, with the expanded 490 million tonne Tenge/Ruoni resource base sufficient on its own to underpin a 4 million tonne/annum pig iron operation over an impressive life of mine of 35 years. At this production rate the project would become the world’s single largest producer of pig iron.
The 490 million tonne Tenge/Ruoni footprint is just 3sqkm, with much of the Tenge block forming significant topographic relief. Ben James says the resultant short haulage distances and low stripping ratios will have a tangible impact on mining costs.
“Baobab’s management team looks forward to presenting the results of pit optimization and mine scheduling studies, along with other aspects of the finalized pre-feasibility study, in early 2013.”
Tenge/Ruoni is the easternmost prospect area of the Tete project. Mineralization in the area has been synformally folded with the fold hinge plunging gently to the west-northwest. The northern and southern limbs of the fold comprise the Ruoni North and Ruoni South resource blocks, while the outcropping fold hinge comprises the Tenge resource block to the east. The buried central portion of the fold comprises the Ruoni Flats resource block.
Baobab is a Mozambican-focused explorer with a large landholding in the central north of the country.