TORMIN MINERAL SANDS PROJECT
Situated on South Africa’s west coast, approximately 400kms north of Cape Town, Tormin is a World-Class placer beach mineral sands deposit, hosting some of the richest concentrated grades of naturally occurring zircon, ilmenite, rutile, magnetite and garnet.
Tormin is a unique deposit due to the process and speed of which the mineral sands are replenished. Through the naturally occuring tidal actions of the Atlantic ocean, high-grade mineral sands are continually re-deposited on the shores of Tormin mining tenement, a process Mineral Commodities is able to leverage from, maximising mineral yield, whilst minimising the environmental impact.
Since commencement, the Company has mined circa 2.7 million tonnes at greater than 4% contained zircon. This tonnage and grade exceeds the original LOM stated in the JORC Resources and Reserve statement and is consistent with the beach replenishment process which is currently occurring. The updated 2015 Inferred JORC Resource and Reserve confirms that 2.7 million tonnes of material at a 28.01% Heavy Mineral is remaining.
The Company has recently acquired the rights to the offshore area adjacent to Tormin. This area is the source of Tormin ore body and, supported by the geographical J-Bay features of the area, supports the concept of replenishment mining which will substantially extend the Tormin life of mine.
To download the Quarterly Reports concerning Mineral Commodities Tormin operations, please select the button below. The quarterly reports for the Tormin operations include the total tonnes mined, processed and sold as well as all other operational updates.
To apply for employment on Mineral Commodities Tormin operation, please submit the application form below. Once your application has been received and reviewed, one of our friendly HR Recruitment team will get in touch once a suitable position becomes available.
For the full year to 31 December 2015, 1.6 million tonnes were mined at Tormin (approximately 1% above budget) at a HMC grade of 49.57%.
Mining continued to perform in line with all Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in terms of production with significant reduction in operating costs in the second half of the year due to the depreciating Rand and diesel fuel costs as a result of global depressed crude oil pricing.
During the year, the Company has gained access to the previously deemed excised non-mining area on the mining lease. This area, totalling some additional 2.8 kilometres of accessible mining area, had previously been unmined and not only allowed higher grade Zircon to be accessed, but also gave additional replenishment time to other areas under the Run of Mine (“ROM”) plan.
Mining techniques also evolved to deal with the ongoing replenishment process of the beach. The mobilisation in the latter half of the year of a specialised larger Caterpillar D8T low ground pressure (“LGP”) bulldozer allowed a surface mining technique to be developed which involves stripping of the lower grade silica deposition from the replenished areas thus exposing high grade lenses of HM bearing ore. This process allows a much more flexible mining approach which optimises and limits beach excavation below sea level and limits total material movement.
The commissioning of the tailings return pumping system mitigated and alleviated the loading and haulage of Primary Beach Concentrator (“PBC”) and Secondary Concentrator Plant (“SCP”) processing tails to the beach by traditional earth moving methods. This resulted in much better utilisation of truck and loader mining equipment.
The Company was pleased to advise that late 2015, Mineral Sands Resources (MSR) had been granted a new prospecting right by the Department of Mineral Resources – South Africa (“DMR”). The awarded prospecting right represents an area of approximately 10,500 ha in size seaward from its current mining (Tormin mine) and prospecting areas.
The awarding of this right extends MSR’s prospecting area up to 10km offshore from its current mining area. The prospecting area is to be investigated for its offshore heavy mineral sand potential that is currently the source of replenishment taking place on the beach held under mining rights.
MSR has conducted a bathymetric and sub-bottom sea floor profiling geophysical survey over the surf zone area held under PR 10036. The survey, conducted by an independent firm, will provide detailed information that is to be used to plan an underwater exploration drill sampling campaign. This survey is in support of the aeromagnetic and radiometric aerial survey work done during 2014 by Xcalibur Geophysics. The 2014 survey identified off-shore heavy mineral sand exploration targets.
In conjunction with offshore bathymetric studies, the Company finalised the selection of a specialised offshore drilling and mining sampler contractor who will mobilise to site in the second quarter of 2016 to conduct resource drilling and sampling of the surf zone area i.e. the area between the low tide and the wave crest formation. The objective of this program is to achieve an offshore Inferred JORC resource.
In addition to the awarded rights, Mineral Sands Resources has lodged a new prospecting and bulk sampling application (WC 30/5/1/2/10226 PR) along the beach and surf zone north of its current mining operations. This application represents a target area of approximately 24km along the coastline. Historical exploration work by non-related parties has indicated the area is prospective for heavy mineral sand deposits. This application is subject to a full public participation process and an environmental impact assessment for bulk sampling as is required under South African legislation.
The above activities are indicative of the long term plans of MSR to extend the heavy mineral sand resource of its Tormin mining operation and underpin the economic viability of its current operations.