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#SVML Sovereign Metals – Leading Market Position for Kasiya’s Graphite

·    

Graphite planned to be produced as a co-product from the Kasiya rutile operation is estimated to sit at the lowest end of the global flake graphite cost curve

·    

As one of the world’s largest flake graphite deposits, Kasiya has potential for a dominant market position due to production scale of a coarse flake, high purity and highly crystalline product which should be suitable for lithium-ion batteries and wider traditional industrial uses 

·    

Kasiya’s graphite flake size distribution compares favourably to industry peers suggesting potential to achieve a high graphite basket price

·    

Independent Life Cycle Assessment Study demonstrates Kasiya’s high quality natural graphite concentrate should have a significantly lower carbon footprint than Chinese-produced natural graphite

 

 China currently produces over 75% of the world’s natural graphite, almost 80% of the world’s synthetic graphite and 100% of the world’s natural graphite anodes used in lithium-ion batteries

 

 Each tonne of graphite produced from Kasiya is expected to have a Global Warming Potential of only 0.2 tonnes CO2e which represents 5x less greenhouse gas emissions compared to natural graphite produced in the Heilongjiang Province, China

·    

Recent independent studies published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology estimates global warming potential of synthetic graphite to be 20.6 t CO2e i.e., 103x that estimated for Kasiya’s natural graphite

·    

Updated Scoping Study for Kasiya on track and due for completion shortly

 

Sovereign Metals Limited (ASX:SVM; AIM:SVML) (the Company or Sovereign) is pleased to report recent analysis of Kasiya Rutile Project’s (Kasiya) graphite co-product, one of the critical raw materials contained with the Kasiya deposit.

Natural graphite concentrate would be produced as a co-product from Kasiya, the world’s largest rutile deposit. Benchmarking of characteristics of Kasiya’s natural graphite demonstrate that it can be produced in line with the 2021 Scoping Study with:

·      one of the lowest potential production costs globally

·      extremely low carbon footprint versus hard-rock operations or synthetic graphite production

·      favourable flake size distribution suitable for a wide range of end uses including feedstock for the lithium-ion battery sector – technology crucial to tackling global climate change.

Sovereign’s Managing Director, Dr Julian Stephens commented: “Not only is Kasiya the world’s largest rutile deposit and one of the largest flake-graphite resources, but our latest graphite industry benchmarking also demonstrates the potential for Kasiya to be a globally dominant supplier and low-cost flake graphite producer at scale. Importantly, the very low graphite production costs at Kasiya should allow Sovereign to compete aggressively on price point across global graphite markets.

 

 

ENQUIRIES

Dr Julian Stephens (Perth)
Managing Director

+61(8) 9322 6322

Sam Cordin (Perth)
+61(8) 9322 6322

Sapan Ghai (London)
+44 207 478 3900

 

 

Nominated Adviser on AIM

 

RFC Ambrian

 

Bhavesh Patel / Andrew Thomson

+44 20 3440 6800

 

 

Joint Brokers

 

Berenberg

+44 20 3207 7800

Matthew Armitt

 

Jennifer Lee

 

Varun Talwar

 

 

 

Optiva Securities

+44 20 3137 1902

Daniel Ingrams

 

Mariela Jaho

 

Christian Dennis

Sunday Times – Who owns the Earth? The scramble for minerals turns critical

China controls the metals that are vital to the modern economy. Is the West’s fightback too late?

by Jon Yeomans and Fred Harter

Passengers passing through the new, £300 million terminal of Addis Ababa airport in Ethiopia are greeted by an array of signs in Chinese, directing them to their connecting flights across the continent.

Groups of transiting Chinese workers and engineers traipse through the arrivals and departures areas, often wearing matching hazmat suits and plastic goggles to guard against Covid-19.

They, and the Chinese-built airport, are a fitting symbol of the billions of dollars that China has ploughed into Ethiopia — and Africa — over two decades to fund giant infrastructure projects.

Addis is just one hub in a global web of Chinese influence, control and money that has arisen as the world’s second largest economy races to secure the minerals needed for the future generations ofelectric cars, wind turbines and batteries to drive the green revolution.

To a great extent, it is a race Beijing has already won….

…theoretically at least, in the most important minerals for the future green economy — nickel, cobalt, graphite, lithium and so-called rare earth metals — China could effectively turn on, and turn off, the world’s supply at will…

Ben Stoikovich, chairman of Aim-listed graphite miner Sovereign Metals #SVML, noted the contradiction in using China to process metals intended to drive the net-zero agenda. “We don’t know how it’s produced, we don’t know what chemicals they use, we don’t know just how polluting it is. So the upshot is our very clean ambitions are driven by quite dirty production methods,” he told a parliamentary meeting earlier this year.

Fight back

Belatedly, the response from the West has been to go shopping for assets — or to throw money at smaller miners. In 2019 the US merged its international development arms into the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), charged with investing in projects across the globe and furthering US foreign policy, with the power to lend $100 billion.

Link here for the full Sunday Times article

#BRES Blencowe Resources – Placing

Highlights

 

· RAB Capital to invest £800,000 to become largest shareholder in Blencowe

· 16,000,000 new ordinary shares to be issued at 5p

· RAB Capital will hold 17,800,000 shares, being 10% of the enlarged share capital

· Blencowe to use funds to fast-track Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) at Orom-Cross graphite project and ongoing exploration work at Akelikongo nickel project

Blencowe Resources is pleased to announce a placing of 16,000,000 new ordinary shares at 5 pence per share (“Placing Shares”) exclusively with specialist mining investor RAB Capital (“RAB”), to raise gross proceeds of £800,000. In addition, RAB will receive 1 warrant per 2 Placing Shares, exercisable at 8p for 3 years from admission. Therefore, 8 million investor warrants have been issued to RAB as part of this placing, which was arranged by Tavira Securities Limited.

Use of Proceeds

These proceeds will be used to enhance project development at both of the Company’s projects, namely Orom-Cross Graphite Project and Akelikongo Nickel Project.

Blencowe is targeting completion of the Orom-Cross Pre-Feasibility Study by mid-2022 and these funds will assist to drive towards that goal.  Furthermore, Blencowe will shortly be underway on initial exploration work at the Akelikongo Nickel Project, with a view to finding drill targets via airborne EM (electromagnetic) work.

Holdings

RAB currently holds 1,800,000 Blencowe shares and following admission of the placing shares it will hold 17,800,000 shares, being 10% of the enlarged share capital.

This Placing is deemed a related party transaction as defined under DTR 7.3. The independent director Sam Quinn considers the terms of the Placing as fair and reasonable insofar as the Company’s shareholders are concerned.

 

 

Admission

The Company has made an application for 16,000,000 ordinary shares to be admitted to trading on the official list and the London Stock Exchange with effect from 8.00 a.m. on 19 April 2022 (“Admission”).

In accordance with the FCA’s Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules, the Company confirms that following Admission, the Company’s enlarged issued ordinary share capital will comprise 177,929,950 Ordinary Shares. The Company does not hold any Ordinary Shares in Treasury.

Therefore, following Admission, the above figure may be used by shareholders in the Company as the denominator for the calculations to determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in the Company, under the FCA’s Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.

Chief Executive Officer of RAB Capital Philip Richards commented:

“I am pleased to have taken a long-term and strategic stake in Blencowe Resources. The priority Orom-Cross graphite project is clearly of significant quality and global scale already and it can play a material role in helping to meet the expected supply deficit forecast ahead for graphite. Whilst at an earlier stage in its development, the Akelikongo nickel sulphide project also appears to carry significant promise and I look forward to the results of the ongoing exploration campaign.”

Executive Chairman of Blencowe Cameron Pearce commented:

“I am delighted that resource specialist fund RAB Capital has elected to materially increase its shareholding in the Company at this time. This is a validation of the work we have undertaken over the last few years and the subsequent value we have created. RAB Capital have confirmed they share our belief in the robust economics and investment proposition of Orom-Cross, as well as the broader outlook for global graphite demand and the expected significant supply deficit.

 

 

For further information please contact:

 

  Blencowe Resources Plc

Mike Ralston

www.blencoweresourcesplc.com

Tel: +44 (0)1624 681 250

info@blencoweresourcesplc.com

Investor Relations

Sasha Sethi

Tel: +44 (0) 7891 677 441

sasha@flowcomms.com

Tavira Securities

Jonathan Evans

Tel: +44 (0)20 7100 5100

jonathan.evans@tavirasecurities.com

First Equity Limited

Jason Robertson

Tel: +44(0)20 7330 1833

jasonrobertson@firstequitylimited.com

#BRES Blencowe Resources – Updated Presentation

Blencowe Resources is pleased to announce the release of an updated presentation for the Company, highlighting ongoing work at both the Orom-Cross graphite project as well as the Akelikongo nickel project.

The presentation can be found at this link: http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/8784H_1-2022-4-10.pdf

CEO, Mike Ralston, will be delivering a live webinar at 12 noon Monday 11 April, where he will discuss this presentation along with the recently announced JORC Resource update, and the new strategic investment into Blencowe.

The link for this call is https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PcAeugdNQs2oZksABsUD1A

 

For further information please contact:

 

  Blencowe Resources Plc

Mike Ralston

www.blencoweresourcesplc.com

Tel: +44 (0)1624 681 250

info@blencoweresourcesplc.com

Investor Relations

Sasha Sethi

Tel: +44 (0) 7891 677 441

sasha@flowcomms.com

Tavira Securities

Jonathan Evans

Tel: +44 (0)20 7100 5100

jonathan.evans@tavirasecurities.com

First Equity Limited

Jason Robertson

Tel: +44(0)20 7330 1833

jasonrobertson@firstequitylimited.com

#BRES Blencowe Resources – Updated JORC Resource

Highlights

· 24.5Mt at 6.0% TGC contains sufficient Measured and Indicated Resource for the first 15 years life of mine

· 340% (9.4Mt) increase in Indicated and Measured Resources to 13.2Mt, giving a higher level of accuracy and confidence in the deposits to be mined

· Grade remains consistent over the extended zones drilled at both deposits

· High-grade zones evident within the Northern Syncline, including 3.4Mt @ 8.4% TGC

· The Mineral Resource now circa three times larger than initial 8-10Mt targets for the Northern Syncline deposit.

· Drilling at Camp Lode delivers consistent outstanding high grade graphite results in the oxide zone including:

o  OREA-L1302, 11 metres at 9.73%TGC from 3 metres including 6 metres at 10.97% TGC

o  OREA-L1401, 5 metres at 10.30% TGC from surface

o  OREA-L1501, 14 metres at 11.81% TGC from 4 metres

o  OREA-L701, 19 metres at 9.78%TGC from 2 metres

o  OREA-L1201, 17 metres at 10.35% TGC from 2 metres including 7m @12.21% TGC

o  OREA-L401, 19 metres at 9.49% TGC from surface

· 100% conversion of potential mineralisation from the weathered zones in the Camp Lode into JORC Standard Indicated Resource.

· Further 4.2Mt potential resource available at Camp Lode with additional drilling.

Blencowe Resources (Blencowe or the Company) is pleased to report that results for its revised JORC Standard Resource estimation for the Orom-Cross Graphite Project located in northern Uganda have substantially exceeded expectations.

A comprehensive infill drilling programme (Phase 6) was completed in 2H 2021 and the results have significantly increased the previously reported Mineral Resource to a position where sufficient ore tonnes required for the first 15 years life of mine are now available within the Indicated and/or Measured category. The modelling has also confirmed the robustness of the two higher grade zones within the main Northern Syncline deposit which surround a zone of medium grade graphite.  The Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources commence from surface outcrop to depth of current drilling at 30m, and the ore body remains open below this which represents considerable future potential tonnes into the future.

These results, which come from the weathered, close-to or at-surface zone of the deposit, highlight the quality of the Project’s mineralisation and its ability to be a low-cost producer. The nature of the ore body will enhance the commercial outcome for the early years of operations at Orom-Cross by mining this higher-grade ore.

Blencowe had initially targeted a Mineral Resource of 20Mt from Phase 6, with 10Mt in the Measured and/or Indicated categories, in order to provide the start-up ore for a 25Kt per annum operation with potential for expansion subsequent to commencement of production. The 24.5Mt overall, with 13.2Mt as Measured and/or Indicated Resources has outperformed this expectation.  The Company is happy with the initial assessment of Resources located in an area specifically targeted as close to the potential plant site within an extensive mineral field.

Furthermore, Blencowe is also looking at all options to deliver green graphite products via a Project that will utilise renewable energy and other sustainable components.  This is seen as a very important objective within the Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) and the strategy moving beyond.

All other areas within the PFS are going to plan, with work underway on all key areas including infrastructure, energy, roads, water, tailings, logistics, sales and marketing, plus plant and camp design.  Completion is targeted for mid-2022.

Executive Chairman Cameron Pearce commented;

“Our Phase 6 exploration results have added considerable further value to the Orom-Cross Graphite Project as all of the Key Performance Indicators for this latest drilling programme were either met or exceeded. 

We have now included the higher-grade Camp Lode deposit into the overall JORC Resource for the first time; we significantly increased the overall JORC Resource tonnage by 50%; we re-classified a full 13.2Mt into the higher confidence Indicated and Measured categories, and we maintained our in situ grade throughout.”

As a result of this programme we now have enough tonnes ready to mine that will cover our first fifteen years life of mine, which is an exceptional position for Orom-Cross as we head towards delivering our Pre-Feasibility Study by mid-year, and thereafter our first sale of graphite concentrates from a pilot plant from 2023 onwards.  Full production from the main plant is targeted from 2025.”

 

Mineralisation Zones

The Orom-Cross Graphite Project is located in the Kitgum District in north-eastern Uganda. Previous exploration activity identified and named at least five major graphite mineralised zones within the Project property which are underpinned by 21-year Mining Licence (ML) already awarded, namely:

o  Northern Syncline

o  Camp-Lode

o  Central Anticline

o  Synformal Saddle

o  Southern Anomaly

The Phase 6 Resource Delineation Programme (2021) targeted:

1.  Confirming and upgrading the resources in the Camp Lode to include within the JORC Resource.

2.  Upgrading the resource classifications in the Northern Syncline and;

3.  Completing the investigation of the near surface, free dig graphite mineralised material within a portion of the overall Northern Syncline Lode and the Camp-Lode mineralised zones.

The Phase 6 drilling was based upon each mineralised zone being divided into four sub-zones based on the subsurface level of oxidation and weathering. Field observations, phase 5 drilling and the phase 6 drilling results confirmed the initial analysis suggesting a mean global weathering depth of ~15m (with a range of ~9m to ~25m in some instances) and a transition zone approximately 6 to 10m in depth. 

The Graphitic Carbon grade population within the investigated mineralised zones indicates that thegraphitegrade for the deposit ranges from 0.01% to 24.1% GC with a mean grade of 5.6% GC and a mode of 6.0% GC.

The JORC compliant resource estimate for these two graphite mineralised areas has been completed and is based on the drill hole spacing, grade variability and geological confidence. The resultant of the modelling and estimation process is the declaration of Mineral Resources as noted.

 

Resource Estimates

Blencowe undertook an additional drill program (Phase 6) in August 2021 which consisted of an additional 38 holes into the Northern Syncline for 1,140 metres and 36 additional holes into the Camp Lode for 1,080 metres. Geostatistical analysis of the data allowed for both the Camp Lode and Northern Syncline to be estimated and reported according to the JORC code. 

A Resource block model was constructed for both which was dependant on the data spacing and a final block size of 10m x 20m x 3m was selected with a rotated grid to match the orientation of the graphite mineralisation zones. An Ordinary Kriged estimation was performed and resulted in the reporting of Inferred, Indicated and Measured Resources for the Camp Lode and Northern Syncline. The Resources for the Northern Syncline have been tabulated at various cut-off grades starting at 3% GC through to 10% GC.

The previous drilling at the Camp Lode was focussed on delineation of the lode and to check the presence, depth and general shape of the deposit. The majority of the Phase 5 drilling was in the central areas of the Camp Lode in a line which passed through a good patch of mineralisation but since it was the only information available at that stage it introduced a high bias on the mean grades in the reporting of the mineralisation.

With the infill drilling Blencowe defined the high-grade zone and surrounds and in so doing applied better definition on both tonnes and grade and removed the high-grade zone basis.

Table 1: Phase 6 – Revised (2022) JORC Standard Mineral Resources, Orom-Cross Project

Mineral Resources – 2022 Block Model

Area

Material

Resource Category

Cut-off Grade

Tonnage (t)

SG

%GC

%TC

Contained Graphite (Kt)

% of Resource

Northern Syncline

Weathered

Inferred

3.5% GC

2,363,000

2.33

5.60

5.75

132

36%

Indicated

3.5% GC

4,269,000

2.32

5.70

5.90

243

64%

Measured

Not Reported

0

0%

Subtotal

3.5% GC

6,632,000

2.32

5.66

5.85

376

100%

Fresh

Inferred

3.5% GC

8,269,000

2.67

5.61

5.80

464

54%

Indicated

3.5% GC

5,982,000

2.70

5.60

5.80

335

39%

Measured

3.5% GC

1,043,000

2.71

5.50

5.70

57

7%

Subtotal

3.5% GC

15,294,000

2.69

5.60

5.79

856

100%

Camp Lode

Weathered

Inferred

3.5% GC

632,000

2.38

7.00

7.50

44

25%

Indicated

3.5% GC

1,903,000

2.25

6.90

7.40

131

75%

Measured

Not Reported

0%

Subtotal

3.5% GC

2,535,000

2.28

6.92

7.42

175

100%

Fresh

Inferred

No Resources Reported – See Potential Mineralisation

Indicated

Measured

Subtotal

0%

TOTALS

Inferred

3.5% GC

11,264,000

2.59

5.69

5.88

640

46%

Indicated

3.5% GC

12,154,000

2.50

5.84

6.08

709

50%

Measured

3.5% GC

1,043,000

2.71

5.50

5.70

57

4%

Inferred, Indicated & Measured

 

3.5% GC

24,461,000

2.55

5.75

6.00

1,407

100%

Total (Weathered)

Inf. + Ind.

3.5% GC

9,167,000

2.31

6.01

6.28

551

37%

· GC – Graphitic carbon, TC – Total carbon. 

· No geological loses applied.

· A conservative cut-off grade of 3.5% GC has been applied based on metallurgical testing & preliminary mining parameters.

· Mineralised tonnes have been rounded off and contained graphite metal tonnages have been rounded off to the nearest 1000 (Kt).

· Contained graphite has been reported without the application of cut-off grades, loss factors, or beneficiation yields.  

Potential (Additional) Mineralisation

The Phase 6 drill program was focused on a clearer delineation of the resources and an upgrade of resource classification. To this end the program was successful in being able to fully upgrade the previously reported Northern Syncline potential mineralisation of 6,995,000t, in the weathered zone into JORC 2012 reportable Resources.

The program was also successful in upgrading the full weathered potential mineralisation in the Camp Lode into reportable Resources. As the focus in the Camp Lode area was at understanding the geological complexity of the deposit and defining the graphitic carbon units this meant that the majority of drilling was in the weathered zones. A potential further mineralisation of some 4.2Mt higher grade graphite in the Camp Lode remains to be added ahead, which the Company will consider converting into JORC Standard Resource as part of the DFS works. The better understanding built from the 100% conversion of the weathered material is expected to also result in the full conversion of this remaining 4.2Mt.

Therefore, the Potential Mineralisation for both areas can be summarised as follows:

Potential Mineralisation – Grade Tonnage Curves

Area

Material

Avg. depth

investigated

Cut-off

Grade

Tonnage (t)

Mt

Mean

SG

Mean

%GC

Mean

%TC

 

Northern Syncline

Weathered

0 – 13m

Insitu

13 – 36 m

Not reported as potential mineralisation – see Mineral Resources

Subtotal

 

Camp Lode

Weathered

0 – 17m

Insitu

17 – 40m

4 220 000

4.2

2.35

8.35

8.67

Subtotal

4 220 000

4.2

2.35

8.35

8.67

 

Total

4,220,000

4.2

2.35

8.35

8.67

GC – Graphitic carbon, TC – Total carbon

** Mineralised tonnes have been rounded off

Competent Person’s Statement

The information in this release, which is related to Mineral Resource estimation, was compiled under the supervision of Mr JP van den Berg who is an employee of Minrom Consulting (Pty) Ltd; he is Member of the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA) and a Certified Professional Natural Scientist (Pr.Sci.Nat) with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP). 

Mr Van den Berg has sufficient experience relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity that he has undertakento qualify as a Competent Person as defined by the JORC (2012) Code. Mr Van den Berg consents to the inclusion in this report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears

For further information please contact:

 

  Blencowe Resources Plc

Sam Quinn

www.blencoweresourcesplc.com

Tel: +44 (0)1624 681 250

info@blencoweresourcesplc.com

Investor Relations

Sasha Sethi

Tel: +44 (0) 7891 677 441

sasha@flowcomms.com

Tavira Securities

Jonathan Evans

Tel: +44 (0)20 7100 5100

jonathan.evans@tavirasecurities.com

First Equity Limited

Jason Robertson

Tel: +44(0)20 7330 1833

jasonrobertson@firstequitylimited.com

Sovereign Metals #SVML – 1.8 billion tonne JORC Resource confirms Kasiya as the largest Rutile deposit ever discovered

Sovereign Metals #SVML – 1.8 billion tonne JORC Resource confirms Kasiya as the largest Rutile deposit ever discovered

·

Updated mineral resource estimate (MRE) confirms Kasiya as the world’s largest rutile depositand second largest graphite deposit

·

Contained rutile at the Kasiya mega-deposit now stands at 18 Mt – tripling the previous MRE

·

Contained flake graphite by-product now stands at 23 Mt

·

High global resource grade @ 1.64% RutEq.* (recovered rutile + recovered graphite)

·

662 Mt (37%) of the total MRE reports to the Indicated category with remainder in Inferred category

·

Scoping Study to be updated to reflect the substantial MRE scale increase to examine the impact of higher grades, increased production volumes and increased mine-life

 

Table 1:  Kasiya Mineral Resource Estimate at 0.7% Rutile Cut-off

Mineral Resource Category

Material Tonnes (millions)

Rutile
(%)

Rutile Tonnes (millions)

TGC
(%)

TGC Tonnes (millions)

RutEq. Grade*
(%)

Indicated

662

1.05%

6.9

1.43%

9.5

1.73%

Inferred

1,113

0.99%

11.0

1.26%

14.0

1.59%

Total

1,775

1.01%

18.0

1.32%

23.4

1.64%

Sovereign’s Managing Director Dr Julian Stephens commented: It is a really remarkable achievement by our team to have made the largest natural rutile discovery ever in just two years since initial identification. The JORC MRE of this scale and grade is clearly highly strategic, Tier 1 and of global significance in a market where natural rutile is in extreme supply deficit.

The step-change in scale will now allow us to examine potentially higher-grade throughput, increased production levels and a longer mine life in the upcoming Scoping Study update. The Company is targeting a large-scale, low carbon-footprint and environmentally sustainable natural rutile and graphite operation which will also positively impact the environmental footprint of titanium pigment and other industries, and provide a significant contribution to the economy of Malawi.”

ENQUIRIES

 

Dr Julian Stephens (Perth)
Managing Director

+61(8) 9322 6322

Sam Cordin (Perth)
+61(8) 9322 6322

Sapan Ghai (London)
+44 207 478 3900

 

 

Nominated Adviser on AIM

RFC Ambrian

Bhavesh Patel / Andrew Thomson

+44 20 3440 6800

Joint Brokers

Berenberg

+44 20 3207 7800

Matthew Armitt

Jennifer Lee

Varun Talwar

Optiva Securities

+44 20 3137 1902

Daniel Ingrams

Mariela Jaho

Christian Dennis

*Formula: Rutile Grade x Recovery (97%) x Rutile Price (US$1,346/t) + Graphite Grade x Recovery (62%) x Graphite Price (US$1,085/t) / Rutile Price (US$1,346/t). All assumptions taken from the Company’s 2021 Scoping Study released 16 December 2021

To view the announcement in full including all illustrations and figures, please refer to the full announcement at http://sovereignmetals.com.au/announcements/. 

KASIYA – THE LARGEST RUTILE DEPOSIT IN THE WORLD 

Sovereign Metals Limited (ASX:SVM; AIM:SVML) (the Company or Sovereign) is pleased to announce its updated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for Kasiya confirming it as a Tier 1 natural rutile deposit and a potential major source of low CO2 footprint critical minerals natural rutile and graphite.

The updated MRE now places Kasiya as the largest rutile deposit in the world with more than double the contained rutile as its nearest rutile peer, Sierra Rutile (Tables 1, 2 & 3). Additionally, the graphite by-product MRE at Kasiya places it as the second largest flake graphite deposit in the world.

The MRE has broad zones of very high-grade rutile which occurs contiguously across a very large area of over 180km2. Rutile mineralisation lies in laterally extensive, near surface, flat “blanket” style bodies in areas where the weathering profile is preserved and not significantly eroded.

Overall, the new MRE shows a number of new large, but generally discrete high grade rutile zones, particularly in the southern parts and eastern parts of the resource area. The discovery and delineation of these new high grade mineralised zones has been the dominant factor in the tripling of the resource base.

A Total of 662 Mt (37%) of the total MRE reports to the Indicated category @ 1.05% rutile and 1.43% TGC, with a recovered grade of 1.73% RutEq.

The deposit is expansive with high-grade rutile mineralisation commonly grading 1.2% to 2.0% in the top 3-5m from surface. Moderate grade mineralisation generally grading 0.5% to 1.2% rutile commonly extends from 5m to end of hole where it remains open at depths >10m in numerous drill-defined, N to NE-striking zones.

Graphite is generally depleted near surface in the top 3-5m with grades commonly in the 0.1% to 0.5% total graphitic carbon (TGC) range. Graphite grades generally increase with depth to about 8m, then remain constant ranging from 1% to 8% TGC. A number of higher-grade graphite zones at depth have been identified which are generally associated with higher grade rutile at surface. Some of these zones have graphite grades at depth >8m in the 4% to 8% TGC range and represent very significant coarse flake graphite tonnages.

The highlighted cut-off of 0.70% presents 1.8 billion tonnes at a rutile grade of 1.01% with high-grade components providing over 352 Mt at a rutile grade of 1.44% at a 1.20% cut-off (Table 2). The overall recovered rutile equivalent grade for the MRE at the global 0.7% cut-off is 1.64% RutEq. (Table 1).

Table 2:  Kasiya Total Indicated + Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate at various rutile cut-offs

Cut-off (rutile)

Resource
(Mt)

Rutile Grade
(%)

Contained Rutile
(Mt)

Graphite Grade (%)

Contained Graphite
(Mt)

0.40%

 2,825

0.84%

23.8

1.26%

35.5

0.50%

 2,503

0.89%

22.4

1.30%

32.5

0.60%

 2,155

0.95%

20.4

1.33%

28.6

0.70%

 1,775

1.01%

18.0

1.32%

23.4

0.80%

 1,391

1.09%

15.1

1.24%

17.3

0.90%

 1,024

1.17%

12.0

1.09%

11.2

1.00%

 727

1.26%

9.2

0.92%

6.7

1.10%

 516

1.35%

7.0

0.76%

3.9

1.20%

 352

1.44%

5.1

0.55%

1.9

1.30%

 241

1.53%

3.7

0.46%

1.1

1.40%

 165

1.62%

2.7

0.43%

0.7

 

GLOBAL SIGNIFICANCE – RUTILE

Natural rutile is a genuinely scarce commodity, with no other known large rutile dominant deposits being discovered in over half a century. Kasiya is now shown to be the largest single rutile deposit in the world (Table 3), with central Malawi now hosting the largest known rutile province in the world.

Current sources of natural rutile are in decline as several operations’ reserves are depleting concurrently with declining ore grades. These include Iluka Resources’ (Iluka) Sierra Rutile and Base Resources’ Kwale operations in Sierra Leone and Kenya respectively. Additionally, there are limited new deposits forecast to come online, meaning supplies of natural rutile are likely to remain in extreme structural deficit.

Table 3: Summary of major rutile dominant resources1

Company

Project

Resource

(Mt)

In-situ Grade

Contained Rutile
(Mt)

Rutile
(%)

Ilmenite

(%)

Zircon
(%)

TGC
(%)

Sovereign Metals

Kasiya

1,775

1.01%

1.32%

18.0

Iluka Resources

Sierra Rutile

752

1.10%

0.90%

0.10%

8.1

Iluka Resources

Balranald2

53

3.68%

19.34%

3.38%

2.0

Base Resources

Kwale

194

0.37%

1.31%

0.17%

0.7

Sources: Refer to Appendix 1

Notes:

1.    Projects selected with rutile contributing over 30% of the in-situ value

2.    The Balranald Project is being investigated for underground mining by Iluka

As demonstrated in the December 2021 initial Scoping Study, the Kasiya operation will primarily employ conventional hydro-mining to produce a slurry that is pumped to a Wet Concentration Plant (WCP) where the material is sized. A Heavy Mineral Concentrate (HMC) is produced via processing the sand fraction through a series of gravity spirals. The HMC is transferred to the dry Mineral Separation Plant (MSP) where premium quality rutile is produced via electrostatic and magnetic separation. Test work has been very successful and has resulted in conventional flowsheets proving highly efficient for producing premium quality rutile and graphite products.

World-class rutile product chemical specifications are reported at 95.0% to 97.2% TiO2 with low impurities and stand-out metallurgical recoveries ranging from 94% to 100%. For the Scoping Study and rutile equivalent (RutEq.) grade calculation, a product grade of 96% TiO2 and recovery of 97% are assumed for rutile.

GRAPHITE – A VALUABLE BY-PRODUCT

The 23.4 Mt of contained graphite in the Kasiya MRE now places it as the second largest flake graphite deposit in the world (Table 4).

Table 4: Summary of major flake graphite resources

Resource
(Mt)

Syrah Resources

Balama

1,421

10.3%

146.3

Sovereign Metals

Kasiya

1,775

1.3%

23.4

Volt Resources

Bunyu

461

4.9%

22.6

Black Rock Mining

Mahenge

213

7.8%

16.6

Mason Graphite

Lac Gueret

83

17.6%

14.7

Magnis Energy

Nachu

174

5.4%

9.3

NextSource Materials

Molo

141

6.1%

8.7

Graphite One

Graphite One

103

8.0%

8.2

Focus Graphite

Lac Tetepisca

74

10.6%

7.9

Sources: Refer to Appendix 1

Graphite rich mineral pre-concentrate will be produced from the light fraction of the gravity spiral tails and processed in a separate graphite flotation plant to produce a high-quality flake graphite by-product. Because graphite will be a by-product from rutile production, it will have a very low production cost compared to graphite-only projects, as shown in the initial Kasiya Scoping Study.

A very coarse-flake and high-grade graphite product at 96% TGC can be produced via this simple flowsheet. This product has over 60% in the large to super-jumbo fractions (+180μm) with overall graphite recovery from the raw sample to product of 62%.

As well as being very coarse flake, the Kasiya graphite is also highly crystalline and of high purity. These are both important features required for use in lithium-ion battery anodes. The high crystallinity means that the graphite will have high electrical conductivity – a key requirement. High purity means the material will be easier to upgrade to 99.95% TGC, the minimum requirement for lithium-ion battery anodes.

NEXT STEPS

The updated MRE confirms Kasiya as a Tier 1 mineral project, being the largest deposit of natural rutile in the world and the second largest flake graphite deposit in the world. The strong economics of the project were confirmed in the initial Scoping Study based on the previous resource estimate which was released in December 2021.

Sovereign is rapidly continuing its work programs with the following near and medium-term targets and developments:

·      An updated Scoping Study is targeted for completion Q2 2022 to build on the 2021 Scoping Study. This will be driven by the significant increase in the MRE, providing the opportunity to assess higher grade throughput, increased production rates and longer mine life.

·      Initial Pre-feasibility Study (PFS) activities are commencing and include metallurgical programs and hydrogeological studies. Other study elements will commence shortly with major technical consultant site visits commencing in April. The PFS is targeted for completion in early 2023.

·       Drilling programs are planned to continue, testing depth and lateral extensions at Kasiya. These include:

–     An air-core drilling rig is set to be mobilise to Kasiya in mid-May, with a planned 300 hole/10,000m program with the aim of deepening the better high-grade areas in order to add to the next MRE upgrade

–      Continued infill and step-out hand-auger drilling expand the overall mineralised footprint with drill teams to mobilise in April

·     The Company continues to work with potential offtakers and strategic partners in the pigment, welding and titanium metal industries to secure further agreements regarding future offtakes.

·      Continued strong focus on ESG and sustainability – initial ESIA activities to commence shortly including environmental and community baseline surveys, which will inform the upcoming PFS, with continued focus on developing low carbon-footprint operations taking advantage of renewable power supply and soft-friable saprolite mineralisation to produce natural rutile and graphite with far lower Global Warming Potential than alternative products.

KASIYA MRE TECHNICAL DETAILS

The Kasiya MRE has been prepared by independent consultants, Placer Consulting Pty Ltd (Placer) and is reported in accordance with the JORC Code (2012 Edition).

Rutile mineralisation lies in laterally extensive, near surface, flat “blanket” style bodies in areas where the weathering profile is preserved and not significantly eroded. The high-grade zones appear to be geologically continuous with limited variability along and across strike.

SUMMARY OF RESOURCE ESTIMATE REPORTING CRITERA

As per ASX Listing Rule 5.8 and the 2012 JORC reporting guidelines, a summary of the material information used to estimate the MRE is detailed below.

Geology

Regional Geology

The greater part of Malawi is underlain by crystalline Precambrian to lower Paleozoic rocks referred to as the Malawi Basement Complex. In some parts these rocks have been overlain unconformably by sedimentary and volcanic rocks ranging in age from Permo-triassic to Quaternary. The Basement complex has undergone a prolonged structural and metamorphic history dominated by uplift and faulting resulting in the formation of the Malawi Rift Valley.

Kasiya is located on the Lilongwe Plain which is underlain by the Basement Complex paragneisses and orthogneisses which are part of the Mozambique Belt. The bulk of the gneisses are semi-pelitic but there are bands of psammitic and calcareous rocks that have been metamorphosed under high pressure and temperature conditions to granulite facies. Interspersed within the paragneiss units are lesser orthogneisses, often cropping-out as conspicuous tors, as well as amphibolites, pegmatites and minor mafic to ultramafic intrusions.  Foliation and banding in the gneisses have a broad north-south strike over the general area. Thick residual soils and pedolith with some alluvium overlie the gneisses and include sandy, lateritic and dambo types.

Project Geology

Sovereign’s tenure covers 1,892km2 over an area to the north, west and south of Malawi’s capital city covering the Lilongwe Plain. The topography is generally flat to gently undulating and the underlying geology is dominated by paragneiss with pelitic, psammitic and calcareous units.

A particular paragneiss unit is rich in rutile and graphite and is the primary source of both of these minerals in the area. This area was deeply weathered during the Tertiary and rutile concentrated in the upper part of the weathering profile forming residual placers, such as the Kasiya Deposit. Once this material is incised and eroded, it is transported and deposited into wide, regional braided river systems forming alluvial heavy mineral placers such as the Bua Channel.

Kasiya Deposit Geology

The high-grade rutile deposit at Kasiya is best described as a residual placer, or otherwise known as eluvial heavy mineral deposit. It is formed by weathering of the primary host rock and concentration in place of heavy minerals, as opposed to the high-energy transport and concentration of heavy minerals in a traditional placer.

The presence of abundant kyanite and graphite in the host material suggest a meta-sedimentary protolith. The protolith likely started with a 0.5-1.5Ga basin that also experienced consistent influx of titanium minerals.

These sedimentary rocks were subject to granulite facies metamorphism under reduced conditions in the Pan-African Orogeny at circa 0.5-0.6Ga. The reduced environment, relatively high titanium content and low iron content, resulted in rutile being the most stable titanium mineral under these conditions. Slow exhumation and cooling then resulted in crystallisation of paragneisses containing coarse rutile and graphite.

The final and most important stage of enrichment came as tropical weathering during the Tertiary depleted the top ~10m of physically and chemically mobile minerals. This caused significant volume loss and concurrent concentration of heavy resistate minerals including rutile and kyanite.

Rutile mineralisation lies in laterally extensive, near surface, flat “blanket” style bodies in areas where the weathering profile is preserved. The Kasiya deposit continues to confirm widespread, high-grade mineralisation commonly grading 1.2% to 2.0% rutile in the top 3-5m from surface. Moderate grade mineralisation generally grading 0.5% to 1.2% rutile commonly extends from 5m to end of hole where it remains open at depths >10m in numerous drill-defined, NE and N striking zones.

Graphite generally occurs in broad association with rutile. However, it is depleted in the top 3-5m and therefore can often show an inverse grade relationship with rutile in the near-surface zones. At depths generally greater than 5m, graphite is not depleted, and rutile is not particularly enriched, so a more consistent grade relationship exists.

Metallurgical results show that a very coarse-flake graphite by-product can be recovered from rutile gravity-separation tails.

Drilling Techniques

Spiral hand-auger (HA) drilling and Push-tube core (PT) drilling has been used extensively at the Kasiya Deposit by Sovereign to define mineralisation and to obtain quantitative rutile and graphite (TGC) assay information.

A total of 1,205 HA holes for 11,360m were drilled at the Kasiya Rutile Deposit to obtain samples for quantitative determination of recoverable rutile and TGC.

An initial 30 PT core holes, for 359.4m, were drilled at the Kasiya Rutile Deposit to obtain samples for validation of hand auger drilling results and for bulk density test work.

The subsequent infill drilling programme, designed to support the resource estimate update, was completed by push tube coring. A total of 234 core holes for 2,368.5m are included in the updated MRE.

The drilling programs to date show a mineralised envelope, defined nominally by >0.5% rutile, of approximately 187km2 with numerous areas of high-grade rutile defined.

HA drilling was executed by Sovereign field teams using a manually operated enclosed-flight Spiral Auger (SP / SOS) system produced by Dormer Engineering in Queensland, Australia. The HA bits are 62mm and 75mm in diameter with 1m long steel rods. Each 1m of drill advance is withdrawn and the contents of the auger flight removed into bags and set aside. An additional 1m steel rod is attached and the open hole is re-entered to drill the next metre. This is repeated until the drill hole is terminated often due to the water table being reached, and more rarely due to bit refusal (2% of the resource HA drill database). The auger bits and flights are cleaned between each metre of sampling to avoid contamination.

PT drilling is undertaken using a drop hammer Dando Terrier MK1 and a drop hammer DL650. The drilling generated 1m runs of 83mm PQ core in the first 2m and then transitioned to 72mm core for the remainder of the hole. Core drilling is oriented vertically by spirit level.

The HA collars are spaced at nominally 400m along the 400m spaced drill-lines with the push-tube holes similarly spaced at an offset, infill grid. The resultant 200m by 200m drill spacing (to the strike orientation of the deposit) is deemed to adequately define the mineralisation in the MRE.

There is no apparent bias arising from the orientation of the drill holes, with respect to the orientation of the deposit.

The PT twin and density sample holes are selectively placed throughout the deposit to ensure a broad geographical and lithological coverage for the analysis.

Placer has reviewed SOPs for HA and PT drilling and found them to be fit for purpose and support the resource classifications as applied to the MRE.

Sampling Techniques

HA samples are obtained at 1m intervals generating on average approximately 2.5kg of drill sample. HA samples are manually removed from the auger bit and sample recovery is visually assessed in the field. As samples become wet at the water table and recovery per metre declines, the drill hole is terminated.

HA samples are collected in 1m increments. Each 1m sample is sun dried, logged, weighed and pXRF analysed. HA samples are composited based on regolith boundaries and sample chemistry, generated by hand-held XRF analysis. Each 1m of sample is dried and riffle-split to generate a total sample weight of 3kg for analysis, generally at 2 – 5m intervals (average 2.8m for the total resource drill database). This primary sample is then split again to provide a 1.5kg sample for both rutile and graphite analyses.

PT samples are predominantly HQ. Half core 1m samples are sun dried, logged, weighed and pXRF analysed. Samples are then composited over 2m intervals. An equal mass is taken from each contributing metre to generate a 1.5kg composite sample.  Individual recoveries of core samples are recorded on a quantitative basis. Core recovery is >95%.

This sampling and compositing method is considered appropriate and reliable based on accepted industry practice.

Sample analysis methodology

Rutile

Heavy mineral concentrates (HMC) are generated onsite via wet-tabling. Heavy Liquid Separation (HLS) was trialled at Diamantina Laboratories in Perth but was superseded by wet table separation on account of substantial near-density, gangue material reporting to the HM sink.

The Malawi onsite laboratory sample preparation methods are considered quantitative to the point where a wet-tabled HMC is generated.

The HMC is then subject to magnetic separation at Allied Mineral Laboratories Perth (AML) in Perth by Carpco magnet @ 16,800G (2.9Amps) into a magnetic (M) and non-magnetic (NM) fraction.

The NM fractions are sent to either ALS Perth or Intertek Perth for quantitative XRF analysis. Intertek samples received the standard mineral sands suite FB1/XRF72. ALS Samples received XRF_MS.

QEMSCAN of the NM fraction shows dominantly clean and liberated rutile grains and confirms rutile is the only titanium species in the NM fraction. Recovered rutile is therefore defined and reported here as: TiO2 recovered in the +45 to -600um range to the NM concentrate fraction as a % of the total primary, dry, raw sample mass divided by 95% (to represent an approximation of final product specifications). i.e recoverable rutile within the whole sample.

Graphite

A split of each raw sample is dissolved in dilute hydrochloric acid to liberate carbonate carbon. The solution is filtered using a filter paper and the collected residue is then dried to 425°C in a muffle oven to drive off organic carbon. The dried sample is then combusted in an Eltra CS-800 induction furnace infra-red CS analyser to yield total graphitic or elemental carbon (TGC).

QAQC

Accuracy monitoring is achieved through submission of certified reference materials (CRM’s). Sovereign uses internal and externally sourced wet screening reference material inserted into samples batches at a rate of 1 in 20. The externally sourced, certified standard reference material for HM and Slimes assessment is provided by Placer Consulting.

ALS and Intertek both use internal CRMs and duplicates on XRF and TGC analyses. Sovereign also inserts CRMs into all sample batches at a rate of 1 in 20.

An external laboratory raw sample check duplicate is sent to laboratories in Perth, Australia as an external check of the full workflow. These duplicates are produced at a rate of 1 in 20.

Analysis of sample duplicates is undertaken by standard geostatistical methodologies (Scatter, Pair Difference and QQ Plots) to test for bias and to ensure that sample splitting is representative. Standards determine assay accuracy performance, monitored on control charts, where failure (beyond 3SD from the mean) may trigger re-assay of the affected batch.

Precision and accuracy assessment has been completed on all alternate workflow methodologies and a consistent method has been decided, in consultation with Placer Resource Geologists. Examination of the QA/QC sample data indicates satisfactory performance of field sampling protocols and assay laboratories providing acceptable levels of precision and accuracy. Rutile determination by alternate methods showed no observable bias.

Acceptable levels of accuracy and precision are displayed in geostatistical analyses to support the resource classifications as applied to the estimate.

Classification

The HA collars are spaced at nominally 400m along the 400m spaced drill-lines with the PT holes similarly spaced at an offset, infill grid. The resultant 200m by 200m drill spacing (to the strike orientation of the deposit) is deemed to adequately define the mineralisation in the MRE.

The PT twin and density sample holes are selectively placed throughout the deposit to ensure a broad geographical and lithological spread for the analysis.

Variography and kriging neighbourhood analysis completed using Supervisor software informs the optimal drill and sample spacing for the MRE. Based on these results and the experience of the Competent Person, the data spacing and distribution is considered adequate for the definition of mineralisation and adequate for the MRE.

For the latest MRE, a regional trend analysis was performed for all drilling across Kasiya, designed to supplement and extend previous variography analysis completed using Datamine Supervisor software. The trend analysis involved the following key steps:

1.   Generating intercepts files (no bottom cut applied) as follows:

a)   SOIL+FERP (~upper domain)

b)   MOTT+PSAP+SAPL (~lower domain)

2.   Gridding RUT95 intercept XY collar points for both zones using Micromine with multiple interpolation methods.

3.   Variogram Mapping (using Micromine) to investigate interpreted trend orientations against semi-variance.

Drilling methods applied to define the Kasiya Deposit (HA and PT) are not able to retrieve reliable samples below the water table. Mineralisation remains open and a substantial resource is anticipated beneath current drill depths.

High grade sample results are constrained tightly by the search and estimation parameters applied to the interpolation. High grades are expected to be contiguous upon application of closer-spaced drilling.

Regolith stratigraphy is uniform and rutile and graphite mineralisation is broadly consistent across the Kasiya Deposit. Open-hole drilling and infill core drilling techniques have been expertly applied and data collection procedures, density assessments, QA protocols and interpretations conform to industry best practice.

Assay, mineralogical determinations and metallurgical test work conform to industry best practice and demonstrate a rigorous assessment of product and procedure. These and the development of a conventional processing flowsheet and marketability studies support the classification of the Kasiya Resource.

Estimation Methodology

Datamine Studio RM, Micromine and Supervisor software are used for the data analysis, variography, geological interpretation and resource estimation with key fields being interpolated into the volume model using the Inverse Distance weighting (power 2) method. Dynamic Anisotropy search ellipses, informed by variography, kriging neighbourhood analysis and gridding of rutile abundance, were used to search for data during the interpolation. Suitable limitations on the number of samples and the impact of those samples, was maintained.

Interpolation was constrained by hard boundaries (domains) that result from the geological interpretation. The construction of an upper (Soil/Ferp) domain reduces the dilution of resource grade from the underlying, less mineralised (Mott/Sap) domain. A Topsoil horizon has been defined at 0.3m thickness throughout the Indicated Resource area to support anticipated ore reserve calculation and mining studies. Topsoil is disclosed separately but remains in the MRE in recognition of advanced investigations by SVM on synthetic topsoil generation for rehabilitation.

The average parent cell size used is equivalent to the average drill hole spacing within the Indicated Resource (200m*200m).  Cell size in the Z-axis was established to cater for the composite sample spacing and definition of the Topsoil domain. This resulted in a parent cell size of 200m x 200m x 3m for the volume model with 5 sub-cell splits available in the X and Y axes and 10 in the Z axis to smooth topographical and lithological transitions.

Both parent and sub-cell interpolations were completed and reconciled spatially against each other. The parent cell and sub cell interpolations produced near identical global tonnages and grades. The sub-cell interpolation was seen to provide a better graduation of informing drill hole data through intermediate model cells and to conform more sympathetically to the geological interpretation. In this instance, the sub-cell interpolation was applied to the MRE.

The resource model has been volumetrically constrained generally as a buffer of one parent cell dimension. That is: A 200m buffered model boundary around drilling in the XY plan. Vertically the model is constrained by both the topography DTM and a ‘basement’ wireframe that seeks to buffer ‘effective depth’ drilling depths by 2.7m (a little less than the average sample interval for the drill database). This ‘basement’ surface does not represent the base of mineralisation, which is anticipated to be deeper within the weathered profile, at the saprolite/saprock horizon.

Extreme grade values were not identified by statistical analysis, nor were they anticipated in this style of deposit. No top cut is applied to the resource estimation.

Validation of grade interpolations was done visually in Datamine by loading model and drill hole files and annotating, colouring and using filtering to check for the appropriateness of interpolations.

Statistical distributions were prepared for model zones from both drill holes and the model to compare the effectiveness of the interpolation. Model-drilling reconciliation was performed by generating swath plots to measure drilling support against interpolation performance in all three primary orientations. The resource model has effectively averaged informing drill hole data and is considered suitable to support the resource classifications as applied to the estimate.

Density is calculated by the measurements of wet and dry weights using core from geographically and lithologically diverse sample sites throughout the project. This methodology delivers an accurate density result that is interpolated in the MRE for each host material type.

Density data are interpolated into the resource estimate by geological domain. An average density of 1.39 t/m3 for the soil (SOIL) domain, 1.60 t/m3 for the ferruginous pedolith (FERP) domain, 1.65 t/m3 for the mottled (MOTT) domain, 1.68 t/m3 for the pallid saprolite (PSAP) domain, 1.63 t/m3 for the saprolite (SAPL) domain, and 1.93 t/m3 for the laterite (LAT) domain were calculated. Density data are interpolated into the resource estimate by the nearest neighbour method.

Cut-off Grades

All results reported are of a length-weighted average of in-situ grades. The resource is reported at a range of bottom cut-off grades in recognition that optimisation and financial assessment is outstanding.

A nominal bottom cut of 0.7% rutile is offered, based on preliminary assessment of resource product value and anticipated cost of operations. No graphite top or bottom cuts are applied.

Mining and Metallurgy Factors

Hydro-mining has been determined as the optimal method of mining for the Kasiya Rutile deposit. The material is loose, soft, fine and friable with no cemented sand or dense clay layers rendering it amenable to hydro-mining. It is considered that the strip ratio would be zero or near zero.

Dilution is considered to be minimal as mineralisation commonly occurs from surface and mineralisation is generally gradational with few sharp boundaries.

Recovery parameters have not been factored into the estimate. However, the valuable minerals are readily separable due to their SG differential and are expected to have a high recovery through the proposed conventional wet concentration plant, as demonstrated by metallurgical test work.

Sovereign have announced three sets of metallurgical results to the market (24 June 2019, 9 September 2020 and 7 December 2021), relating to the Company’s ability to produce a high-grade rutile product with a high recovery via simple conventional processing methods. Sovereign engaged AML to conduct the metallurgical test work and develop a flowsheet for plant design considerations. The work has shown a premium quality rutile product ranging from 95.0% to 97.2% TiO2 with low impurities could be produced with recoveries of about 94% to 100% and with favourable product sizing at d50 of 118µm (97.2% product).

Gravity separation was effective at concentrating graphite to a “light mineral pre-concentrate” due to its low specific gravity (~2.2 t/m³) at circa 6.3% TGC.

A program at SGS Lakefield in Canada was undertaken in order to confirm that the graphite gravity pre-concentrate can be upgraded into a coarse flake graphite by-product via a conventional graphite flotation flowsheet.

The test-work was extremely successful, and a very coarse-flake graphite concentrate at 96.3% TGC was produced. Greater than 60% of the graphite concentrate is in the large to super-jumbo fractions, suggesting a high combined basket value. The overall graphite recovery from the raw sample to product was 62%.

MRE TABLES

Table 5: Indicated MRE at various rutile cut-offs

Cut-off (rutile)

Resource
(Mt)

Rutile Grade
(%)

Contained Rutile
(Mt)

Graphite Grade (%)

Contained Graphite
(Mt)

0.40%

 924

0.91

 8.4

1.39

 12.9

0.50%

 854

0.95

 8.1

1.42

 12.1

0.60%

 768

0.99

 7.6

1.44

 11.1

0.70%

 662

1.05

 6.9

1.43

 9.5

0.80%

 534

1.12

 6.0

1.36

 7.2

0.90%

 416

1.20

 5.0

1.24

 5.1

1.00%

 314

1.28

 4.0

1.06

 3.3

1.10%

 228

1.36

 3.1

0.85

 1.9

1.20%

 158

1.46

 2.3

0.63

 1.0

1.30%

 113

1.54

 1.7

0.52

 0.6

1.40%

 82

1.62

 1.3

0.47

 0.4

Table 6: Inferred MRE at various rutile cut-offs

Cut-off (rutile)

Resource
(Mt)

Rutile Grade
(%)

Contained Rutile
(Mt)

Graphite Grade (%)

Contained Graphite
(Mt)

0.40%

 1,901

0.81

 15.4

1.19

 22.6

0.50%

 1,649

0.86

 14.2

1.23

 20.4

0.60%

 1,388

0.92

 12.8

1.26

 17.5

0.70%

 1,113

0.99

 11.0

1.26

 14.0

0.80%

 856

1.06

 9.1

1.18

 10.1

0.90%

 608

1.15

 7.0

0.99

 6.0

1.00%

 413

1.25

 5.1

0.81

 3.4

1.10%

 288

1.34

 3.8

0.69

 2.0

1.20%

 194

1.43

 2.8

0.49

 1.0

1.30%

 128

1.52

 2.0

0.41

 0.5

1.40%

 83

1.61

 1.3

0.38

 0.3

Table 7: Inferred & Indicated MRE at various rutile cut-offs

Cut-off (rutile)

Resource
(Mt)

Rutile Grade
(%)

Contained Rutile
(Mt)

Graphite Grade (%)

Contained Graphite
(Mt)

0.40%

 2,825

0.84%

23.8

1.26%

35.5

0.50%

 2,503

0.89%

22.4

1.30%

32.5

0.60%

 2,155

0.95%

20.4

1.33%

28.6

0.70%

 1,775

1.01%

18.0

1.32%

23.4

0.80%

 1,391

1.09%

15.1

1.24%

17.3

0.90%

 1,024

1.17%

12.0

1.09%

11.2

1.00%

 727

1.26%

9.2

0.92%

6.7

1.10%

 516

1.35%

7.0

0.76%

3.9

1.20%

 352

1.44%

5.1

0.55%

1.9

1.30%

 241

1.53%

3.7

0.46%

1.1

1.40%

 165

1.62%

2.7

0.43%

0.7

Forward Looking Statement

This release may include forward-looking statements, which may be identified by words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “projects”, “plans”, and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are based on Sovereign’s expectations and beliefs concerning future events. Forward looking statements are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Sovereign, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be correct. Sovereign makes no undertaking to subsequently update or revise the forward-looking statements made in this release, to reflect the circumstances or events after the date of that release.

Competent Persons Statement

The information in this announcement that relates to Mineral Resources is based on, and fairly represents, information compiled by Mr Richard Stockwell, a Competent Person, who is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG). Mr Stockwell is a principal of Placer Consulting Pty Ltd, an independent consulting company. Mr Stockwell has sufficient experience, which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration, and to the activity he is undertaking, to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Mr Stockwell consents to the inclusion of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.

The information in this announcement that relates to Exploration Results is based on information, and fairly represents, compiled by Mr Samuel Moyle, a Competent Person who is a member of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM). Mr Moyle is the Exploration Manager of Sovereign Metals Limited and a holder of ordinary shares, unlisted options and performance rights in Sovereign. Mr Moyle has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken, to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Mr Moyle consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.

The information in this announcement that relates to Metallurgical test-work Results – Rutile & Graphite is extracted from the announcement dated 24 June 2019, 9 September 2020 and 7 December 2021. The announcement is available to view on www.sovereignmetals.com.au. Sovereign confirms that a) it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the announcement; b) all material assumptions included in the announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed; and c) the form and context in which the relevant Competent Persons’ findings are presented in this report have not been materially changed from the announcement.

Qualified Person

Information disclosed in this announcement has been reviewed by Dr Julian Stephens (B.Sc (Hons), PhD, MAIG), Managing Director, a Qualified Person for the purposes of the AIM Rules for Companies.

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014 as it forms part of UK domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (‘MAR’). Upon the publication of this announcement via Regulatory Information Service (‘RIS’), this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.

#BRES Blencowe Resources – Akelikongo Exploration Programme

Highlights

· Blencowe acquired Akelikongo nickel project in February 2022; this is a highly prospective nickel sulphide tenement near to existing Orom-Cross graphite project

· Exploration program for Akelikongo is underway; this includes re-analysis of existing database from previous work (US$15m spent to date by previous owners Sipa Resources and Rio Tinto) to consider all geochemical samples and previous drilling information

· Focus will be on a substantial electromagnetic (“EM”) program to identify new drilling targets

As part of the planned exploration program for the Akelikongo Project, Blencowe’s geologists have commenced a detailed re-analysis of the Akelikongo exploration database to assist in targeting of additional exploration works.

This review is focussed on both a re-assessment of geochemical soil samples and drillhole logs to identify additional target areas for deep program IP to outline additional orebodies, as well as highlighting target holes for a down-hole EM program to identify extensions of the existing lenses.

Since acquiring farm-in rights the company has been actively securing proposals from geophysical consultants for a low-level, high-density airborne EM survey of the lease to identify additional drill target zones. The Company is working closely with the Ugandan Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines (DGSM) for a modified work program approval to allow the planned exploration activities to proceed. The Company is currently preparing geologists for the fieldwork to complete the planned exploration programs which are expected to commence at the end of the regional wet season in late May.

This program above fits neatly into the consideration milestones that have been set for Blencowe to earn into the project.

Executive Chairman, Cameron Pearce commented:

“Our team has hit the ground running on Akelikongo and work has already commenced to plan the necessary airborne and other surveys to identify new drill targets.

 

Akelikongo is a highly prospective nickel sulphide deposit and previous drilling has already identified three impressive zones of mineralisation over approximately 800 meters.  Our intention is to test for expansions to this system as it is open everywhere.  Nickel is in high demand and prices are at record levels, hence a substantial new nickel sulphide resource ahead would add considerable value to the Company.”

 

For further information please contact:

 

Blencowe Resources Plc

Sam Quinn

www.blencoweresourcesplc.com

Tel: +44 (0)1624 681 250

info@blencoweresourcesplc.com

Investor Relations

Sasha Sethi

Tel: +44 (0) 7891 677 441

sasha@flowcomms.com

Tavira Securities

Jonathan Evans

Tel: +44 (0)20 7100 5100

jonathan.evans@tavirasecurities.com

First Equity Limited

Jason Robertson

Tel: +44(0)20 7330 1833

jasonrobertson@firstequitylimited.com

Blencowe Resources #BRES confirms Successful Infill Drilling on Northern Syncline Lode at Orom-Cross Graphite Project

Blencowe is pleased to provide a further update to the comprehensive JORC Resource diamond drilling program that was completed in 2H 2021 on its Orom-Cross Graphite Project in Uganda

Highlights

·    Drilling at the Northern Syncline Lode delivers some outstanding high grade graphite results in the oxide zone including:

ORNS-L902, 11 metres at 9.01%TGC from 4 metres

ORNS-L1502, 10 metres at 11.00% TGC from surface and 12m @10.91%TGC from 13 metres

ORNS-L1602, 17 metres at 8.97% TGC from surface

ORNS-L1206, 3 metres at 12.43%TGC from surface

ORNS-L1204, 6 metres at 10.12% TGC from 3 metres

ORNS-L1202, 20 metres at 9.24% TGC from 4 metres

·    These results will strengthen the updated JORC Standard Mineral Resource Estimate and

Reserve determination for the Northern Syncline Lode scheduled for release in late February

Blencowe Resources Plc (“Blencowe Resources”) (LSE: BRES) is pleased to announce exceptional high-grade drilling results which will help to strengthen the updated JORC Mineral Resource and Reserve Estimate update at its Orom-Cross graphite project in Uganda, scheduled for release by end February 2022.

The results highlight the quality of the Project’s mineralisation and ultimately its ability to be one of the lowest cost producers of graphite concentrate internationally.

The drilling targeted mainly infill zones the weathered zone of the Northern Syncline deposit, and was planned so as to provide a basis for upgrades in Resource classification as well as extensions to existing high-grade oxide mineralisation. The spectacular near-surface intercepts confirm existing geological interpretations as well as grade continuity over the strike length of the Northern Syncline in a similar way to the recent Camp Lode results as recently announced.

The Northern Syncline deposit has been subjected to a diamond drill hole program on a 25 metre by 12.5 metre grid. The drilling was specifically designed to provide sufficient information to enable the classification upgrade of resources at the Northern Syncline deposit into the Measured and Indicated categories and enable an updated JORC Resource Estimate on the Northern Syncline.

All the holes to date have returned visible grade graphite over the majority of 30m of intersection, with weathering extending to within 5m of the base of the holes in most cases. This may present Blencowe with further high-grade ore for initial mining which could have significant advantages to both mining costs and product quality.  Subsequent logging by the Company’s geologists has identified zones of large to jumbo flakes in the core.

The core has been assayed at SGS in Perth, Western Australia using the method C-IR18. The method is appropriate for understanding graphite deposits and is a total method.

Blencowe Resources continues to review the sample assays and QA/QC checks are expected to be completed shortly enabling the company to proceed to finalising the revised and upgraded Mineral Resource Estimate.

Executive Chairman Cameron Pearce commented; “Our drilling campaign for 2021 has returned very positive high grade results for both the Northern Syncline and Camp Lode deposits, which will assist Blencowe to complete a revised JORC Resource Estimate in the next few weeks.  We are also pleased to see options emerging for higher grade early stage mining which will positively impact operational costs.”

He added “We are largely completed in terms of drilling at Orom-Cross and we do not require any further major campaigns in order to commence mining ahead.”

 

For further information please contact:

 

  Blencowe Resources Plc

Sam Quinn

www.blencoweresourcesplc.com

Tel: +44 (0)1624 681 250

info@blencoweresourcesplc.com

Investor Relations

Sasha Sethi

Tel: +44 (0) 7891 677 441

sasha@flowcomms.com

Tavira Securities

Jonathan Evans

Tel: +44 (0)20 7100 5100

Jonathan.evans@tavirasecurities.com

First Equity Limited

Jason Robertson

Tel: +44(0)20 7330 1833

jasonrobertson@firstequitylimited.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/BlencoweRes

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/72382491/admin/

Background

Orom-Cross Graphite Project

Orom-Cross is a potential world class graphite project both by size and end-product quality, with a high component of more valuable larger coarse flakes within the deposit. A 21-year Mining Licence for the project was issued by the Ugandan Government in 2019 following extensive historical work on the deposit and Blencowe is moving into the studies phase shortly as it drives towards first production.

Orom-Cross presents as a large, shallow open-pitable deposit, with a maiden JORC Indicated & Inferred Mineral Resource deposit of 16.3Mt @ 6.0% Total Graphite Content. Development of the resource is expected to benefit from a low strip ratio and free dig operations, thereby ensuring lower operating and capital costs.

#BRES Blencowe Resources – Camp Lode Drilling Results

Blencowe is pleased to provide a further update to the comprehensive JORC Resource diamond drilling program that was completed in 2021 on its Orom-Cross Graphite Project in Northern Uganda

 

Highlights

· Drilling at Camp Lode delivers consistent outstanding high grade graphite results in the oxide zone including:

 

o  OREA-L1302, 11 metres at 9.73%TGC from 3 metres including 6 metres at 10.97%TGC

o  OREA-L1401, 5 metres at 10.30% TGC from surface

o  OREA-L1501, 14 metres at 11.81% TGC from 4 metres

o  OREA-L701, 19 metres at 9.78%TGC from 2 metres

o  OREA-L1201, 17 metres at 10.35% TGC from 2 metres including 7m @12.21% TGC

o  OREA-L401, 19 metres at 9.49% TGC from surface

· These results will form part of an updated JORC Standard Mineral Resource Estimate and Reserve Determination for the Orom-Cross project scheduled for late February 2022

Blencowe Resources Plc (“Blencowe Resources”) (LSE: BRES) is pleased to announce exceptional high-grade drilling results at the Camp Lode deposit which forms part of the Orom-Cross project.

These results will allow the Company to bring Camp Lode into the wider Orom-Cross JORC Resource and Reserve Estimate update scheduled to be released in February 2022.

 

Camp Lode Resource Drilling

The results, which come from the weathered, close-to or at-surface zone of the Camp Lode deposit, highlight the quality of the project’s mineralisation and ultimately its ability to be a low-cost producer.

The drilling targeted both infill zones and strike extensions to existing high-grade oxide mineralisation. The spectacular near-surface intercepts confirm the geological interpretations as well as grade continuity over the strike length of the Camp Lode.

The Camp Lode Deposit has been subjected to a diamond drill hole program on a 25 metre by 12.5 metre grid. The drilling was designed to provide sufficient information to enable the classification of Resources at the Camp Lode into the indicated category and enable a Resource Estimate on the Camp Lode to be reported and to qualify the initial production area for the deposit as a high-grade supplement to the main Northern Syncline deposit.

 

Northern Syncline Resource Drilling

Blencowe Resources continues to receive the sample assays for the additional 24 diamond drill hole program undertaken on the Northern Syncline Lode and QA/QC checks are expected to be completed shortly enabling the company to proceed to finalising the Orom-Cross JORC Resource Estimate.

The holes to date have returned visible grade graphite over the majority of 30m of intersection, with weathering extending to within 5m of the base of the holes in most cases. This may present Blencowe with a high-grade ore for initial mining which could have significant advantages to both mining costs and product quality.  Subsequent logging by company geologists has also identified zones of large to jumbo flakes in the core.

The core has been assayed at SGS in Perth, Western Australia using the method C-IR18. The method is appropriate for understanding graphite deposits and is a total method.

Executive Chairman, Cameron Pearce commented;

“We have always believed that Camp Lode offered us a very valuable source of graphite to mine in the initial phase of development.  The latest drill results at Camp Lode will allows us to add new high grade resources to the wider project. We are finalising resource estimation work at the Northern Syncline and look forward to releasing the updated JORC Resource for the Orom-Cross project.

 

The updated JORC Resource will be used for developing the mine and we continue to see buoyant demand for graphite given the growth of the EV market.  We are working hard to build Orom-Cross into a valuable mine that can deliver significant tonnes of high quality end-product into several key markets.”

 

For further information please contact:

 

  Blencowe Resources Plc

Sam Quinn

www.blencoweresourcesplc.com

Tel: +44 (0)1624 681 250

info@blencoweresourcesplc.com

Investor Relations

Sasha Sethi

Tel: +44 (0) 7891 677 441

sasha@flowcomms.com

Tavira Securities Limited

Jonathan Evans

Tel: +44 (0)20 7100 5100

jonathan.evans@tavirasecurities.com

First Equity Limited

Jason Robertson

Tel: +44(0)20 7330 1833

jasonrobertson@firstequitylimited.com

#BRES Blencowe Resources – Appointment of Battery Limits

Blencowe Resources Plc (” Blencowe” or the “Company”) (LSE: BRES) is pleased to announce the appointment of highly regarded Australian Engineering firm Battery Limits to assist the Company in the completion of the Orom-Cross Graphite Project Pre-Feasibility Study.

Highlights

· Battery Limits is a highly experienced graphite project development engineering firm.

· Battery Limits has completed Feasibility Studies for several tier one graphite projects internationally.

· Extensive graphite project experience in East Africa.

Battery Limits is one of the most experienced graphite project development engineers internationally, with extensive experience in East African graphite projects. Battery Limits has been selected to assist the Company on the basis of this relevant project experience which includes:

· Armadale Capital – Lindau Mahenge Tanzania Graphite feasibility study

· MRC – Munglinup Graphite Australia DFS

· International Graphite – downstream processing DFS

· Graphex Chilalo Graphite – PFS update, PFS and scoping studies and DFS metallurgy and process engineering

· Volt Resources – Bunyu Graphite Tanzania FS, PFS, scoping studies

· Armadale Capital – Lindau Mahenge Tanzania Graphite scoping study

· BlackEarth Minerals – Maniry Graphite Madagascar scoping study

· Black Rock Mining – Mahenge Graphite Tanzania PFS

· Magnis Resources – Nachu Graphite Tanzania PFS

· Triton Mineral – Ancuabe Graphite Mozambique scoping study  

 

Blencowe considers this previous project experience, and in particular the East African graphite knowledge, highly beneficial to Battery Limits assisting in the development of Orom-Cross project.

Battery Limits will lead the Pre-Feasibility Study and will ultimately sign off on the Study, thus providing key credibility to all parties concerned. Study aspects of process engineering and process plant design, capital and operating cost estimates, management of ongoing metallurgical testwork, infrastructure and project implementation will all be undertaken by Battery Limits.

Specialised sub-consultants in Uganda and South Africa will be assisting with tailings storage design, geotechnical and hydrological studies under supervision of Battery Limits.

Executive Chairman Cameron Pearce commented:

“We are both pleased and privileged to have a technical partner with the capabilities and experience of Battery Limits helping us to deliver the PFS, due for completion around mid-2022.  Our Orom-Cross graphite project continues to move towards first production in the medium term and their involvement will help provide a stronger operational and commercial model.”

 

 

For further information please contact:

 

 Blencowe Resources Plc

Sam Quinn

www.blencoweresourcesplc.com

Tel: +44 (0)1624 681 250

info@blencoweresourcesplc.com

Investor Relations

Sasha Sethi

Tel: +44 (0) 7891 677 441

sasha@flowcomms.com

First Equity Limited

Jason Robertson

Tel: +44(0)20 7330 1833

jasonrobertson@firstequitylimited.com

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