Iron Ore prices continue to fly, as demand for steel increases, and the aftermath effects of Covid-19 put major constraints on production to countries like Brazil. Seaborne iron ore prices set new record highs on Monday May 10 with 62% Fe =$230.56 USD/tonne and 65% Fe =$263.00 USD/tonne.
Tsodilo Resources (TSX.V: TSD) (FSE: TZO) has provided an update on its wholly owned Xaudum Iron Ore Project. The Company has initiated geochemical analysis for grade determination and geotechnical test-work for Rock Mass Rating (“RMR”) evaluation for the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) of its Xaudum Iron Formation (“XIF”) project.
The following analysis and test works will be conducted:
➢ 755 samples from 10 drill holes within the XIF Block2 area have been sent to ALS Chemex for analysis by:
- Element analysis by X-ray fluorescence (“XRF”) using borate fusion beads; and
- LOI by muffle furnace (Table 1);
➢ 34 samples from 7drill holes representing the main XIF geological domains (Table 2) have been sent for geotechnical laboratory test-work assessment to the Department of Mining and Geological Engineering at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), where:
- 18 samples will undergo Unconfined Compressive Strength (“UCS”) testing;
- 8 samples will undergo Brazilian Tensile Strength (Brazilian Test) testing; and
- 8 samples will undergo Direct Shear Strength tests on a selection of common discontinuities.
Metallurgical results show that the XIF magnetite product is expected to be a premium product containing 67% Fe which is preferable over lower grade iron ores (See, Press Release of 12/17/2013 on the Company’s website). These high-grade ores and products currently command larger price premiums over standard ores (62% Fe) resulting in higher margins for suppliers of high-grade products. Further to this, “cleaner” iron ores witha Fe content equal to or greater than 65% use less coal per unit of steel and as such produce lower emissions. The current global drive for lower emission steel production results in steel producers dramatically increasing their demand for these high-grade green ores. As this shift towards green steel and emission reduction continues the high grade XIF is uniquely placed to meet this emerging market.
Preliminary work on the Xaudum Iron project has defined a CIM compliant Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate of 441 million tonnes (Mt) with an average grade of 29.4% Fe, 41.0% SiO2,6.1% Al2O3 and 0.3% P for the Block 1 magnetite XIF. Block 1 is a fraction of the potential XIF magnetite resource. An extrapolated exploration target has defined the XIF to be in the order of 5 to 7 billion tonnes at 15-40% Fe. This exploration target was generated by inversion modelling of ground magnetic geophysical data which was compared and moderated to volumes from drilling data within Block 1 and its potential quantity and grade is conceptual in nature. To date, there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource other than in Block 1 and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource.
Tsodilo's Chairman and CEO, James M. Bruchs, commented “These results will be important to the technical evaluation and economic understanding of the project and will be included in the PEA. The iron ore market is entering a new “Super Cycle” based on improving fundamentals and a healthy market and has recently recorded the highest price on record. This encouraging market outlook coupled with the gathering pace of the green steel revolution means that we are confident that the PEA will bring strong added value to the Company as we develop this project towards mining.”
755 samples have been consigned for XRF chemical assay to the ALS Chemex Minerals Division Geochemistry laboratory (ALS) in Johannesburg, South Africa for Fe analysis by industry standard XRF borate fusion beads and LOI by muffle furnace. These samples represent 1,230 meters of high grade XIF mineralization within the Block 2a area, see Table 1 for the details of these samples sent for assay.