Explorer of heavy mineral sands (HMS), MRG Metals Limited (ASX:MRQ), has been focussing on its recently acquired Corridor Central and Corridor South Heavy Mineral Sands (HMS) projects in Mozambique. Mozambique is the largest host to HMS titanium feedstock resources globally. The Company has a portfolio of 13 high calibre targets identified on its Corridor Central and Corridor South projects and has been successful in making a significant discovery of high grade Total Heavy Mineral (THM) over a large area from surface.
The first target, Koko Massava is a mineral sand deposit located in the Gaza Province of southern Mozambique. Predominantly ilmenite enriched, it is a rapid low-cost and high-grade discovery area, has garnered much interest off late for delivering unequivocal and significant results in MRQ’s fast-tracked Aircore drilling exploration program.
To know about Koko Massava Developments, READ HERE- Kalkine Media Conference - MRG Metals presents its HMS developments
More recently, MRQ announced promising results of a Mineral Resource Estimation (MRE) undertaken by IHC Robbins in Perth on the target. Let us dive right in-
Koko Massava MRE Results
A Maiden JORC Mineral Resource of 1,423 Million Tonnes @ 5.2% THM using a cut-off grade of 4% THM has now been announced by MRQ. It comprises an Indicated Mineral Resource of 289 Mt @ 4.9% THM and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 1,133 Mt @ 5.3% THM.
Results identified a significant exploration target in the range of 234 - 967 Mt @ 4.5 – 5.9% THM at cut-off grades of 3% and 5% THM. Besides this, the estimate confirmed massive high-grade discovery, well above cut-off-
- 593Mt @ 6.2% THM (5.0% cut-off)
- 252Mt @ 7.3% THM (6.0% cut-off)
- 113Mt @ 8.3% THM (7.0% cut-off)
Other substantial findings are listed below-
- A valuable heavy mineral (VHM) assemblage comprising Ilmenite 42%, low Ti Ilmenite/titanomagnetite 7%, Zircon 2%, Rutile 1%, Leucoxene 1% and Monazite 0.2%
- Several zones show sub-sets of higher VHM assemblage indicating further potential for optimisation
- The detailed mineral assemblage data show ilmenite grades are above average (up to 47%) in several areas, particularly in the northern portion of the resource which coincides with high THM grade resource blocks and some of the thickest zones of mineralisation
- In terms of zircon and rutile, the highest grades occur near surface in the central-eastern portion of the resource
- The variography has demonstrated there is good grade continuity in the east-west direction
- Titanomagnetite, which is used in steel manufacture, forms up to 27% of the THM content of the Koko Massava deposit and is in addition to the VHM assemblage.
Breaking Down MRQ’s Latest MRE
In November 2019, MRQ engaged IHC Robbins Pty Ltd to assist with the preparation of a MRE for Koko Massava. Works included drill sample analysis, assisting with defining composite samples for mineral assemblage, mineralogical characterisation, geological modelling, resource estimation and JORC technical reporting on the Koko Massava heavy mineral sand project.
To identify the significant Maiden JORC Mineral Resource, the Company drilled 82 Aircore holes supported by 77 Auger holes, which is likely to underpin the future exploration and development plans.
The geological interpretation states that the HMS at the Corridor Sands deposit are hosted by the palaeodunes in the Chongoene - Chibuto area that are known to host significant HMS mineralisation.
MRQ has engaged with Mocambique STT Sociedade Anónima, the organization promoting the Chongoene Development Corridor, which has reached Bankable Feasibility phase and comprises a 150Mt per annum capacity deep water port ~ 40 km south of Koko Massava, linked by a Cape gauge railway to the existing Maputo-Zimbabwe line. The proposed railway is adjacent to the Corridor Central and Corridor South projects.
Coming to the drilling part, hand Auger drilling was carried out by MRQ field crews using a manually operated system produced by Dormer Engineering in Australia while the Aircore drilling was completed by Bamboo Rock Drilling Limitada utilising a purpose built Thor Reverse Circulation aircore drill rig with 76 mm diameter rods and 80 mm diameter (NQ) Harlsan Aircore bits.
To know about the drilling results, READ HERE- Excellent Final batch Aircore Drilling Results at MRG Metals’ Koko Massava
What’s In Store?
The Company’s strategy is to aggressively seek additional high grade/high value per ton resource, rather than to simply add tonnage. MRQ plans to engage with potential Offtakers as the size, grade and mineralogy of the resource has been defined by this MRE.
Other next steps include bulk sample geometallurgical test work to characterise processing performance of the HMS, including process flowsheet development and the preparation, recovery and quality of potential ilmenite and zircon products.
Later, further assaying of titanomagnetite for vanadium content will also be undertaken.