GVP Mining Leases granted by the Western Australian Government’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
All tenure required for the development of the Gabanintha Vanadium Project now in place.
A key milestone achieved for the development of the Project and continuing engagement with strategic partners and project financiers.
Workstreams in support of the preparation and submission of the Project’s Environmental Review Document progressing to schedule.
Definition of maiden Southern Tenement Ore Reserve estimate nearing completion, providing a clear path to extending the Project mine life.
BACKGROUND
Technology Metals Australia Limited (ASX: TMT) (“Technology Metals” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the grant of Mining Leases M51/883 (“Northern Block”) and M51/884 (“Southern Tenement”) on 28 August 2020. The Mining Leases have been granted by the WesternAustralian Government’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (“DMIRS”) for an initial period of 21 years.
Grant of the Mining Leases delivers all tenure required for the development of the Gabanintha Vanadium Project (“Project” or “GVP”), including Miscellaneous Licences for the bore field and camp and General Purpose Leases for mining infrastructure associated with theNorthern Block.
The very high quality Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”) on the development of the globally significant GVP was based solely on the Northern Block Mineral Resource estimate, with the Proven and Probable Ore Reserve of 29.6Mt at 0.88% V2O5 (ASX Announcement 21 August 2019) contained within M51/883.
Managing Director Ian Prentice commented; “Grant of the GVP Mining Leases is a key milestone as we continue to de-risk the development of the lowest cost quartile, large scale, long life World class Gabanintha Vanadium Project, complimenting the rapid progress we are making on the environmental approvals pathway. These achievements, along with the targeted delivery of an initial +20 year project life, are expected to be very positive in regards to TMT’s ongoing engagement with Project financiers, strategic partners and key stakeholders.”
The GVP, wholly owned by TMT’s 100% owned subsidiary The Kop Ventures Pty Ltd (“Kop”), consists of two granted mining leases (M51/883 and M51/884), two granted General Purpose lease, two granted Miscellaneous Licences (bore field and camp), the northern Exploration Licence (E51/1818) and a Prospecting Licence Application (P 51/1340) (see Figure 1). The newly granted Mining Leases cover all of the defined Gabanintha Global Mineral Resource Estimate, with 109.5Mt at 0.8% V2O5 within M51/883 and 27.7Mt at 0.9% V2O5 within M51/884.
ENVIRONMENTAL APPROVALS PATHWAY
The Company has been rapidly advancing environmental workstreams in support of the preparation of an Environmental Review Document (“ERD”) addressing the key environmental factors identified in
 he Environmental Scoping Document (“ESD”) previously provided by the WA Environmental Protection Authority (“EPA”). Completion of these workstreams will facilitate the preparation and ultimate submission of the Environmental Review Document (“ERD”) with the Project to undergo a formal environmental impact assessment with no public comment period.
Work completed as part of the DFS identified a good quality water source within a paleochannel located to the north west of the processing facility covered by Miscellaneous Licence L51/102. A drilling program designed to establish additional production water bores as well as a series of borefield monitoring bores commenced in early August 2020 and is on track to be completed in early September 2020. Data from this drilling will allow the Company’s consultants AQ2 to further develop the hydrogeological understanding of the borefield area to be included in the ERD. Vanadium pentoxide product generation utilising the material produced from the pilot scale kiln roast testwork completed by FLSmidth is providing samples of process waste streams for material characterisation testwork. Results from this work will be incorporated in to the ERD and assist in waste management.
Spring fauna, flora and vegetation surveys completed in late 2019 have provided complete seasonal coverage of the Project development envelope as defined in the DFS. The reports and data from these and earlier environmental surveys are being incorporated in to the ERD.
SOUTHERN TENEMENT RESERVE
The Southern Tenement area (M51/884), known locally as Black Hills, hosts an updated Mineral Resource estimate of 27.7Mt at 0.9% V2O5. including a high grade massive mineralisation zone of 14.4Mt at 1.1% V2O5, and importantly a maiden Indicated Mineral Resource estimate of 9.6Mt at 1.0% V2O5 (TMT:ASX “Maiden Southern Tenement Indicated Resource”, 1 July 2020). Black Hills is located 15km southeast of the proposed processing plant and has a similar outcrop character to the Ironstone Ridge outcrop in the Northern Block of the GVP.
The updated Mineral Resource estimate has been included in a revised ‘Global Mineral Resource estimate’ for the Gabanintha Vanadium Project of 137.2Mt @ 0.9% V2O5 (Inferred, Indicated and Measured), containing an outstanding high grade component of 75.1 Mt at 1.1% V2O5. The Global Indicated and Measured Resource estimate has increased to 39.6Mt @ 0.9% V2O5 including the maiden Indicated Mineral Resource estimate for the Southern Tenement of 9.6Mt at 1.0% V2O5. This represents a 32% increase on the previous Global Indicated and Measured Resource estimate of 30.0 Mt at 0.9% V2O5, which converted to a Proven and Probable Ore Reserve of 29.6Mt at 0.88% V2O5, supporting an initial 16 year project life.
Reserve estimation work on the Southern Tenement is progressing well, with a maiden Southern Tenement Ore Reserve expected to be completed shortly. Based on the knowledge gained from the Northern Block DFS and the defined quantum of the Southern Tenement maiden Indicated Mineral Resource estimate, the Company is expecting to deliver a +20 year Gabanintha project life. The high grade nature of the Southern Tenement Indicated Mineral Resource estimate is also expected to deliver an extension of the period of high (+1.0% V2O5) feed grade, currently defined as the first 12years of operation.
Extending the Project’s life beyond 20 years is expected to be viewed favourably by prospective Project financiers, strategic partners and key stakeholders.
CORPORATE
Grant of the Mining Lease M51/883 triggers the second consideration payment under the royalty acquisition agreement announced on 7 September 2018 (TMT:ASX “Gabanintha DFS Update”), under which the original Royalty holders will be issued 500,000 fully paid ordinary TMT shares. Subsequent consideration to be issued to the Royalty holders upon the satisfaction of future milestones are: 500,000 fully paid ordinary shares upon a final investment decision in respect of development of the Project, and 500,000 fully paid ordinary shares on commencement of commercial production of vanadium from Mining Lease 51/883.
The grant of Mining Lease M51/883 is also the vesting condition for the Class A Incentive Options issued to Directors, Employees, Contractors and Consultants under the Incentive Performance Rights and Options Plan (“Plan”) approved by Shareholders at the General Meeting of Shareholders held on 4 May 2020. A total of 4.125 million Class A Unquoted options exercisable at $0.20 on or before 10 May 2023 were issued under the Plan; with 2.0 million issued to Managing Director Ian Prentice, 1.0 million issued to Chairman Michael fry and 250,000 issued to Non-Executive Director Sonu Cheema. The balance were issued to eligible Employees, Contractors and Consultants.
For more details, please visit the website: https://www.tmtlimited.com.au/
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