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Surefire extends Unaly Hill vanadium mineralisation

Vanadium explorer Surefire Resources’ recent drilling campaign has demonstrated that the mineralisation at the Unaly Hill project, near Sandstone in the Murchison region of WA, extends for several kilometres along strike.

All 10 reverse circulation holes in the campaign intersected a number of vanadiferous magnetite bands of varying down-hole widths.

This campaign, which is the first phase of a new drill program at Unaly Hill, was designed to test additional magnetic anomalies identified along strike of the company’s previous drilling.

Data from the drilling will provide additional information for the mineral resource within the licence area.

All RC samples are currently awaiting assays in Perth.

Last month, Surefire completed a single, deep, large diameter diamond drill hole targeting the three main bands of vanadium-rich titanomagnetite mineralisation at the project.

The drill core was obtained primarily for metallurgical test work with the deepest ore horizon returning a serious looking 50.8 metre zone grading 0.55% vanadium pentoxide from 298.2m downhole including a very impressive 9m high-grade section @ 0.89% vanadium pentoxide from 306m.

The two shallower ore horizons were impressive in their own right, returning 40.5m @ 0.36% vanadium pentoxide from 108.65m down-hole and 69.5m @ 0.42% vanadium pentoxide from 182.5m down hole.

All three ore zones contain significant quantities of titanium oxide and iron, which can potentially be recovered into a magnetic concentrate and sold in their own right.

These grades are in line with those at Atlantic Vanadium’s nearby Windimurra vanadium mine, which boasts a remaining mineral resource of 235 million tonnes grading 0.49% vanadium pentoxide and is presently on care and maintenance.

The metallurgical tests will reaffirm historical work indicating that a high-grade vanadium pentoxide concentrate could be produced from the Unaly Hill mineralisation.

Unaly’s vanadium-rich magnetite mineralisation is already quite well understood and is not an overly challenging ore body with the three defined zones of mineralisation simply dipping steeply to the southeast and having a total combined width of about 150m.

This makes the deposit largely ideal for open pit mining extraction in the future, should it prove economic to extract.

The project is located on a single exploration licence about 48km south of Sandstone in WA and is 100%-owned by the Surefire.

Vanadium prices increased five fold between November 2015 and April 2018 with its steel hardening qualities still in solid demand and its high energy storage capabilities quickly coming into vogue.

Whilst the immediate price driver is the requirement for Chinese steel manufacturers to significantly increase the vanadium content of their rebar products to make them stronger, it is Vanadium’s potential use in vanadium redox flow batteries that could set the stage for further demand hikes.

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