Multi-decade low-cost operation has been discovered on Kasiya rutile project in Malawi. The discovery follows an initial scoping study done by Sovereign Metals.
Soverign Metals revealed the report and said the scoping study demonstrated positive results, including a 12-million-tonne-a-year operation producing 122 000 t/y of rutile and 80 000 t/y of graphite a year over a 25-year mine life. This will provide a stable supply of rutile and graphite, while contributing significantly to the economy of Malawi.
Kasiya is among the largest undeveloped rutile deposits in the world and is highly strategic in a market characterised by extreme supply deficit. Sovereign is optimistic about the exceptional economics, tax benefits and the benefits that come from a large-scale operation with a low-cost profile resulting from the deposit’s near-surface nature, grade and excellent existing infrastructure. It will also be a low-carbon operation, with the project to be powered entirely by renewables, such as hydro and solar power.
The initial scoping study demonstrated that Kasiya was a globally significant and strategic project with low capital costs and high returns, and that it was positioned as one of the world’s best undeveloped titanium minerals projects.
The life-of-mine is currently based off only 38% of the drill defined mineralised footprint. Therefore, Sovereign said substantial additional resource growth was expected this year. It believed that current global supply was declining, with very limited additional production in the pipeline. The severe structural supply deficit in natural rutile was therefore forecast by Sovereign to continue to widen in the medium to long term.