Australian Vanadium Completes Resource Development Drill Program To Support Resource Update

Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) has completed a resource development drill program which included diamond and reverse circulation (RC) drilling at its namesake project at Gabanintha, south of Meekatharra in Western Australia.
The southern blocks drilling was completed to support updated mineral resource and classification upgrades for the first five years of planned mining at the project site.
AVL’s primary focus is on developing high-value vanadium processing and recovery, maximising co-product opportunities in iron and maximising economics through a detailed understanding of the mineralisation.
Moving forward, AVL has scheduled an updated mineral resource estimate (MRE) for early 2023, which will be used in the updated mine schedule targeting the highest possible vanadium pentoxide recovery in concentrate early in the mine life.
“Key value initiative”
AVL managing director Vincent Algar said: “The prompt and safely executed infill and metallurgical drill program by the AVL geological team provides the company with a further detailed understanding of the orebody where mining will commence.
“This program has produced new information that will add significant value to the project and confirm early reserves essential for banks and institutional investors as the project moves towards final funding, approval and development.
“Completion of the program represents a key value initiative in the current post-BFS, pre-Final Investment Decision (FID) phase of work.”
Drill program
AVL completed 7,283 metres of RC drilling and 813.5 metres of diamond drilling between August and October this year.
The RC program infills the previous drilling in southern blocks 50, 60 and 70 to underpin an updated MRE with increased classification levels.
The company’s bankable feasibility study (BFS) focused on the project’s high-grade vanadium horizon at the Gabanintha orebody.
Ore from these blocks is in the current mine plan and scheduled to be extracted at the start of the mining schedule as outlined in the BFS.
The drilling completed also greatly improves the resolution of data in block 70, the southernmost block of the current mineral resource and presently excluded from BFS.
Furthermore, the programs provide characterisation material to evaluate expected increases in processed iron and vanadium concentrate grade from the southern blocks.
Previous results
AVL’s recent work prior to 2022 resource development drilling programs at the project include:
Vanadium concentrate grades of up to 1.51% vanadium pentoxide confirming near-surface opportunities for improving vanadium concentrate grades and recoveries.
Iron grades in fresh magnetic concentrate of up to 61.0% iron identified in beneficiation of historical core samples in southern ore blocks, demonstrating the potential to improve the value of AVL’s FeTi co-product grade.
Verification of vanadium concentrate grades greater than 1.39% vanadium pentoxide used in AVL’s BFS in the early years of production can contribute positively to project economics.
Forward plan
Once all data is returned, including assays and interpretation of down-hole survey data, a geological model update is scheduled.
During early 2023, an MRE update will be completed, with associated mine studies and financial modelling for the project to follow.
AVL continues to progress all required statutory approvals with associated studies to drive the Australian Vanadium Project towards an operating world-class vanadium mine.