The survey information is currently being reviewed in conjunction with the historical property data to identify and prioritize drill targets for follow-up diamond drilling expected to commence later this month.
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Historical data, collected in 2007 by Maximus Resources Ltd (ASX:MXR), comprises 325 samples that returned vanadium oxide grades in excess of 1.0%, with the sample population averaging 1.21% vanadium oxide, 12.6% titanium oxide and 50.1% iron.
Fast forward to 2018, and BlueBird’s geologists have collected additional rock samples from VTEM target 13-08 that returned the following results:
- Sample 494 – 48.7% iron; 12.4% titanium oxide; 1.25% vanadium oxide
- Sample 498 – 53.6% iron; 13.7% titanium oxide; 1.30% vanadium oxide
- Sample 499 – 53.3% iron; 13.6% titanium oxide; 1.29% vanadium oxide
- Sample 500 – 50.2% iron; 12.4% titanium oxide; 1.27% vanadium oxide
The recent results, generated from a small sample population, suggest that the large historical data-set results may be valid, BlueBird said.
"Vanadium prices have increased 300% since 2017 to approximately US$19/lb at the end of July 2018, and we believe vanadium prices will continue to increase as a result of higher demand in both the steel sector, as well as battery manufacturing," said Peter Ball, the chief executive officer of BlueBird.
"Given the price appreciation, high grade surface results and size of the vanadium enriched area, the vanadium opportunity represents another compelling exploration target at our Canegrass Ni-Cu-Co property. The favourable structural zone transects the entirety of our Canegrass property, and extends for over 9 kms from north to south,” he added.
“The historical grades are more than double the reserve grade of the adjacent Windimurra Vanadium Mine Complex a few kilometers to the north. As a result, we will immediately look to evaluate the resource potential in our initial exploration drill program commencing in a few weeks," Ball concluded.
Shares in BlueBird were down 1.3% at C$0.38.