BASE Resources PLC (LON:BSE) has passed an important milestone in its bid to increase the mine life of its mineral sands operation in Kenya.
Work on the Kwale North Dune has resulted in a 13% increase in the resource estimate to 194mln tonnes at an average grade of 1.5% for 2.9mln tonnes of heavy metal (HM) with a 1% cut-off grade.
A total of 99% of the Kwale North Dune resource is in the measured and indicated categories.
The maiden resource estimate for nearby Bumamani was 5.9mln tonnes at an average of 1.9% HM.
The new data are part of a pre-feasibility study to assess the viability of mining the Kwale North Dune and Bumamani deposits, which is due for completion in the second quarter.
Production commenced on BASE’s Kwale Project in late 2013. It features a high-grade ore body with a high-value mineral assemblage, rich in rutile.
Mining initially commenced on the Central Dune orebody before transitioning to the South Dune in June 2019.
Kwale currently accounts for around 65% of Kenya’s mining industry by mineral output value. It was developed to process ore to recover three separate products – ilmenite, rutile and zircon.