Mineral Commodities (ASX:MRC) is a growing mineral sands producer with it’s primary resource based in South Africa. Tormin, located on the Atlantic coast, is a small but high-grade resource (41% heavy mineral sands) containing 3.77% Zircon, 0.66% Rutile, 16.99% Ilmenite, and 30.90% Garnet.
Tormin is a world-class resource with a substantial zircon-rich beach resource situated approximately 400kms north of Cape Town on the Western Cape coastline. The project commenced mining in October 2013, with first production in January 2014. While it is a small resource, a unique feature is its location on the ocean beach, which exposes the resource to wave and tidal conditions that result in a natural jigging effect. Large proportions of the quartz and light heavies waste material are removed by the ocean tidal action, resulting in run of mine (ROM) grades as high as 86% heavy mineral concentrate (HMC).
In addition, studies by external resource consultant, AEMCO Pty have shown that the resource replenishes economically around three times that of mined, at approximately 80% of the original grade as heavy minerals have been washed in from the ocean by the tides. The current rate of natural replenishment offers evidence to extend its mining life beyond its expected life of 3 – 5 years. In addition, MRC has recently acquired the rights to the offshore area adjacent to Tormin, which is the source of the Tormin ore body and, supported by the J-bay features of the area, supports the concept of replenishment mining which will substantially extend the Tormin life of mine.
Tormin’s primary product is zircon/rutile non-magnetic concentrate, comprising of 81% zircon and 11% rutile, with by-products being an ilmenite concentrate and a garnet concentrate. Tormin positions MRC as a niche supplier to a market experiencing strong demand and with limited new supply, and as the second biggest garnet producers in the world.