Mokopane is located on the central portion of the Northern limb of the Bushveld Complex, which hosts the second-largest vanadium resource in the world. The project is in the Mokopane District of Limpopo Province, approximately 65 km west of the provincial capital, Polokwane. The project includes one of the world’s largest primary vanadium resources and a weighted average grade of 1.41% V2O5 in situ and 1.75% V2O5 in magnetite.
Upon receipt of the mining right, Mokopane will be a primary source of feedstock to Vanchem as a result of its large mineral reserve, so the Vanchem transaction facilitates the expedited development of Mokopane. The Mokopane-Vanchem model will create a fully-integrated business in a shorter timeline and at lower cost than developing Mokopane as a standalone operation. Other options include supplying ore to other primary or secondary producers worldwide. The long-term plan remains to develop Mokopane into a standalone integrated mine and processing plant, producing 5,300 mtVp.a. of >99% purity V2O5 product.
Geology & Resources
The Mokopane deposit is a layered orebody along a 5.5 km north-south strike at a dip of between 18 degrees and 22 degrees west. The project comprises three adjacent and parallel magnetite layers, namely the MML, the MML-HW layer and the AB Zone. 298 Mt (JORC) resources and reserves run across three parallel overlying magnetite layers with grades ranging from 1.6% to over 2% V2O5 as follows:
- MML: 52 Mt @ 1.48% V2O5 (1.6-1.8% V2O5 in magnetite);
- MML-HW & Parting: 233 Mt @ 0.8% V2O5 (1.5-1.6% V2O5 in magnetite); and
- AB Zone: 12 Mt @ 0.7% V2O5 (greater than 2% V2O5 in magnetite).
The Mokopane property has a prospecting right (LP95PR), which incorporates five farms: Vogelstruisfontein 765 LR; Vriesland 781 LR; Vliegekraal 783 LR; Schoonoord 786 LR; and Bellevue 808 LR. The Project’s mineral prospecting right covers several minerals including iron ore, vanadium and titanium. An application for a Mining Right was first lodged in March 2015 with the Department of Mineral Resources’ Limpopo region and subsequently updated, after we established a framework for community participation, in line with the recently promulgated Mining Charter III. In September 2016, Bushveld Minerals was granted an Environmental Authorisation for the project by the South African Department of Mineral Resources in terms of Section 24 L of the National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998).
The Department of Mineral Resources has accepted the Mining Works Programme and Social and Labour Plan, which are part of the Mining Right Application.
With the gazetting of Mining Charter III, Bushveld Minerals has submitted a new proposed ownership structure to the department, which includes a BBBEE Entrepreneur, Employees and Community participation. Bushveld Minerals will continue to engage with the department on this mining right application.
A Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) on the Mokopane Vanadium Project was completed and published in January 2016. The PFS was premised on only the MML resource being mined and processed through a primary salt roast and leach process to produce over 99% purity V2O5.
The project economics are attractive as presented in the table below.