Surefire Resources has intersected wide, high grade vanadium mineralisation in a resource extension drilling program completed at its Unaly Hill project, located near Sandstone in the Murchison region of WA. Results up to 34m @ 0.53% vanadium pentoxide from 79m down-hole, including 16m @ 0.69% vanadium pentoxide from 89m have extended the strike of the existing resources by another 4km to the north northeast.
Vanadium small cap hopeful Surefire Resources has confirmed significant widths and northern strike extensions to its existing Unaly Hill mineral resource, located near Sandstone in WA.
The company recently completed 10 RC drill holes at the property, with all holes intersecting the targeted mineralisation and returning a best result of 34 metres grading 0.53% vanadium pentoxide from 79m down-hole, incorporating a higher-grade section of 16m @ 0.69% vanadium pentoxide from 89m.
Another intersection returned 40m @ 0.44% vanadium pentoxide from 82m down-hole, that included 24m @ 0.51% vanadium pentoxide from 82m deep.
According to the company, the new drilling showed mineralisation at robust vanadium grades to relatively shallow depths, within 150m of the surface.
In addition, the assay results provide strong support for an extensive vanadium resource at Unaly Hill, that has a simple geometry and is still open for several kilometres along strike and also to depth.
The mineralisation is contained in vanadium-rich titanomagnetite layers within a large mafic intrusion, which are relatively common in this region of the Yilgarn geological Craton in WA.
The new work effectively extends the strike of the existing resources by another 4km to the north northeast within the existing exploration licence at Unaly Hill.
The present mineral resource estimate for the project is 86 million tonnes grading 0.42% vanadium pentoxide, so the recent drilling results are well in line with the existing mineral resource grades.
According to Surefire management, weathering and oxidation of the rock sequences are relatively shallow at Unaly Hill and hard, fresh rock drilling conditions were encountered close to surface at the project.
Surefire Executive Chairman Vladimir Nikolaenko said: “The RC drilling program has provided confirmation of the extent and good grades of the vanadium resource at Unaly Hill.”
“Combined with the excellent metallurgical testwork results, it enables the company to continue to advance its Unaly Hill project towards a scoping study level of evaluation of its economic potential”.
The promising results will allow the company to devise an extended drilling program to advance the resource to a confident indicated JORC status of classification, that will enable an economic evaluation of the deposit to commence.
The new drilling results come on the back of encouraging metallurgical test work studies on the Unaly Hill ores reported by Surefire in November.
That preliminary work showed that a high-grade magnetic concentrate up to 1.46% vanadium pentoxide could be generated from simple crushing and magnetic separation of the ores.
Importantly, the metallurgical testing rejected most of the waste silica, alumina and calcium content whilst upgrading the iron and valuable titania content of the same ore composite samples.
Surefire continues to advance the Unaly Hill project towards a scoping study level evaluation of its economic viability.
The grades being returned from Unaly Hill are similar to Atlantic Vanadium’s nearby Windimurra vanadium mine, which contains a remaining mineral resource of 235 million tonnes grading 0.49% vanadium pentoxide and is presently on care and maintenance.
After a promising year exploring and developing its Unaly Hill and nearby Victory Bore vanadium projects in the East Murchison mineral district, Surefire will be keen to push on, especially with the price of premium vanadium pentoxide flake touching nearly AUD$87,000 per tonne this week.