Mineral sands producer Base Resources has released the maiden JORC mineral resource estimate for its Kwale north dune project in Kenya.
Base Resources’ Kwale operation is currently based on the central dune and south dune deposits, with mining operations to date focused on the central Dune. A transition to the south dune deposit is scheduled for June 2019.
Based on the current ore reserves, Kwale will continue until mid-2022, which will be extended to mid-2024 subject to approval of the south dune mining lease variation currently before the Kenyan Government.
Although Base acquired the north dune deposit with the acquisition of the entire Kwale project in mid-2010, it was excluded from the project’s mineral resources based on grade and then prevailing economic conditions.
A decision was taken to reevaluate the potential of the north dune in 2018 considering improved economic conditions, refined resource definition methodology and with insights gained from five years of operations on the Central Dune.
The 2019 Kwale north dune mineral resources estimate will incorporate the results of an extensional and infill drill programme completed in 2018 as well as earlier programmes. The 2019 Kwale north dune mineral resource is estimated to be 171 million tonnes (Mt) at an average heavy mineral (HM) grade of 1.5% and 38% slimes (SL) and containing 2.6Mt HM, based on a 1% HM cut-off grade. The high slimes content is likely to make the resource amenable to hydraulic mining as is currently employed at the Kwale Operations.