Traded globally as bulk and bagged minerals, Heavy Mineral Sands (HMS) has gained massive traction of late owing to the extensive use in the paint, chemical, aerospace and foundry industry. HMS is vital in the manufacture of welding rods and the generation of electricity in thorium nuclear reactors.
The Southeast African nation of Mozambique hosts the largest HMS titanium feedstock resources in the world and is gifted with major world-class mineral sands mines. Modern HMS exploration in the region dates back to the 1980s when Kenmare Resources, BHP and Rio Tinto made early discoveries.
With HMS garnering market attention and being of crucial importance like non-metallic and metallic raw materials in today’s globalised economy, MRG Metals Limited (ASX:MRQ) has been making significant progress in its highly prospective HMS projects in Mozambique. The Company is a cost effective, technically driven explorer, implementing programs designed to maximise the probability of discovering globally significant mineral resources.
The Company’s Corridor Central and Corridor South projects have a remarkable portfolio of 13 high calibre targets, where significant discovery of high grade Total Heavy Mineral (THM) is being delivered over a huge area.
Koko Massava Developments
MRQ’s first target, Koko Massava is an HMS deposit largely ilmenite enriched and a high-grade, low-cost discovery. The Company has recently and successfully completed a JORC compliant Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE), with the discovery cost from start of exploration to delivery of the Mineral Resource being less than 1 cent per ton of resource. MRG plans to continue ongoing district scale exploration, which is already occurring in parallel with work designed to further advance the Koko Massava deposit.
The significant foundation asset at Koko Massava demonstrates 1,423 MT @ 5.2 % THM (Indicated 289 MT @ 4.9%, Inferred 1,133MT @ 5.3% THM). Additionally, a JORC Exploration Target of 234 – 967 MT @ 4.5 - 5.9% THM. MRQ intimated that further upside drill targets for high grade THM discovery within and extensional to Koko Massava remain in pipeline.
Exploration of Corridor Projects at a District Scale
Besides advancing Koko Massava significantly, In April 2020 MRQ has concluded a technical review of the 2019 Airborne magnetic/radiometric survey data, with the benefit of incorporating a year worth of exploration data into that review process. Extensive field work (mapping, auger drilling and aircore drilling) catalysed this review. The results of the review strongly supports the Company strategy to continue to explore the Corridor projects at a district scale.
13 priority targets are already being explored or are planned for follow up. According to MRQ, key elements for success are mineralogy, grade, and tonnage, that require tactical actions which the Company has been substantially taking.
Technical Review- Anomalies & Targets on Corridor Central & Corridor South Tenements
Let us understand the stance of the Company’s significant targets as per the technical review of April 2020-
Other targets that are future goals of MRQ’s exploration and development program are Zulene, Viara, Siaia, Rio Chegua, Malahice, Mabanjane, Malambane, Norte and Trez.
Besides these, three further projects remain under application-
- Linhuane, wherein 36 historic auger holes were drilled by Rio Tinto to depths of 10.5m with avg downhole 5-25% THM. Best holes include LP1255 with 10.5m @ 15.8% THM and LP1272 with 10.5m @ 17.9% THM.
- Marruca and Marao, which are currently untested, respectively
Near Term Outlook & Impressive Stock Performance
Auger and Aircore drilling programs are ongoing while the company continues to test its high priority exploration targets. The preliminary Auger results at Bungane/ Poiombo/ Nhacutse has pointed towards several high grade zones within each and to the potential of these zones joining across the targets to create another massive footprint of high grade tonnage down to 12m, which is open at depth.
Shortly, MRQ is likely to provide updates on Aircore drilling assay results currently in transit to the lab in Perth along with visual results from the ongoing Auger program. The Company is also open to potential interest from established industry players with the financial capacity and experience to partner with and take its discoveries to production phase.
After market close on 14 May 2020, MRQ quoted $0.007 a share (AEST 1:57 pm). In the past year, MRQ’s return have been 40%.