Tando Resources (ASX:TNO) is pondering the use of helicopter mounted drill rigs at its SPD Vanadium Project in South Africa to fast-track exploration, following a magnetic survey which delineated further outstanding drill targets.
The unconventional move to deliver a rig from the skies could save the explorer considerable time, with earthmoving operations required to transport a traditional drill rig to site.
The company is intent on accelerating its maiden drilling, which it believes will firmly add to its business case of establishing a vanadium direct shipping ore operation (DSO).
According to Tando the latest high-resolution survey has clearly delineated a host of the shallow, high-grade vanadium pipes, which sit within a 3km radius of its established vanadium deposit at SPD.
The identified pipes are significantly larger than Company expected, with one cluster of pipes measured at 600m by 600m.
Soil sampling conducted on site earlier in the year returned strong assay results consistently above 2% V2O5, further adding to the company’s excitement.
Commenting on the latest exploration findings, Tando managing director Bill Oliver said:
These magnetic results strongly support our view that the pipes could be sufficient to host a DSO operation which would be very low-cost to establish and operate.”
“They would then be able to provide an early source of cashflow while we undertake technical and economic studies on the larger SPD vanadium deposit.”
Tando has recently been granted mining rights at the SPD project, which paves the way for drilling to start during August 2018 at both the SPD deposit and the newly identified surrounding pipe structures.
In addition, the Company has commissioned a study into the potential market and pricing for the DSO product.
Vanadium, one of the more exotic options for mineral exploration companies, is mostly used in steel alloys and but is also leveraged to the booming battery metals space, as a key component of vanadium redox flow batteries. Vanadium batteries typically offer a longer lifespan and greater charge than traditional batteries.