The country’s biggest mining company Kuvimba Mining House (KMH) is expecting to have a JORC-certified resource size of around 200 million tonnes in totality following the completion of phase 3 and 4 exploration, KHM director of energy cluster Trevor Barnard has hinted.
Addressing journalists at KMH Headquarters in Harare on Wednesday, Barnard said KMH has completed phase 1 exploration at the Sandawana Lithium project and has embarked on phase 2 which is expected to be complete by the end of the first quarter next year with the mine targeting 100 million tonnes at the end of the campaign. The results of the exploration will be reported following precisely the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (‘the JORC Code’).
The main principles governing the operation and application of the JORC Code are transparency, materiality and competence.
According to Barnard, chemical analysis and assaying work will be done and is expected to be complete in the next two weeks and from the initial exploration results, the resource is estimated to be around 50 million tonnes at a grade of about 1,6 per cent.
He said Phase 2 of the exploration programme at Sandawana is already in progress and expected to be complete by the first quarter of next year with the company targeting to double the resource from the 50 million tonnes of phase 1 to 100 tonnes for both phases.
“We estimate that we’ll double the size of the resource by that time. If you put that in context Sandawana Mines with that high grade and with that level of resource size would be a very significant resource in international terms.
“We decided to develop a three million tonnes per annum mine and processing plant at Sandawana Mines in the short term,” Barnard said.
Barnard said that at the end of phase 4 exploration, the Sandawana Lithium project will be one of the biggest lithium mines in the world totalling 200 million tonnes with phases 3 and 4 expected to produce results of 100 million tonnes.
“We are also doing further phases of exploration, phases 3 and 4 and the overall expectation is that we would end up at the resource size of around 100 million tonnes in totality, that can’t be confirmed at this stage but that is from our initial exploration expectations and evidence that we found on site.
“From that perspective, this would be really one of the biggest in the world. The next step is the development of the mine and the project,” said Barnard.
What is JORC certification?
The JORC certification is an Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (‘the JORC Code’) is a professional code of practice that sets minimum standards for Public Reporting of minerals Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.
Sandawana Mines ( formerly Sandawana) Resuscitated in 2023. The Mine is currently drilling as well as conducting feasibility studies. The Mine will also do floatation and finally producing lithium grade carbonate at more than 99%.