Tando says 2019 production possible

TANDO Resources could be at the midpoint of a transformational journey. Having just completed the purchase of the SPD vanadium project in South Africa it has already started drilling a number of promising targets that – if things go right – could see it in production before the end of 2019.
Tando says 2019 production possible Tando says 2019 production possible Tando says 2019 production possible Tando says 2019 production possible Tando says 2019 production possible

Haydn Black

Reporter

Speaking at this morning's annual general meeting chairman, Jeremy King said the company had undergone a year of change and was now in a position to "attack".

"Obviously the market is hot for vanadium and obviously the board is painfully aware of that," King said.

Managing director Bill Oliver noted that Tando's share price had performed well compared to the commodity's price and relative to its vanadium peers who were struggling because there was no obvious link between their longer-dated projects and current pricing - which has increased five-fold since 2017 off the back of a constrained market.

Tando not only has a granted mining lease and a resource of 513 million tonnes at a grade of 0.78% V2O5 (defined under the South African mineral code), but it has more recently designed a number of shallow, high-grade pits with direct shipping ore potential.

While it is early days, they could be fast-tracked to deliver a precursor product to the market.

It wouldn't command the premiums of a downstream product, and the exact pricing would depend on the ore quality and the specific demands of any off-takers, but it could ensure cash coming in the door in the short term, Oliver said.

Beneficiation would be simple, and the nature of the DSO ore means most of what goes in the magnetic separation plant would come out the back end.

A typical 500,000tpa modular plant would cost less than A$20 million to construct over just six months.

"There are a lot of boxes to tick before we can do that, and getting a project up is difficult at the best of times, especially when you are doing it quickly, but we are hoping for the second half of next year," Oliver said.

The company's immediate tasks are upgrading the South African resource to JORC status (which is not expected to change the current resource much), and then to push the estimates from inferred to indicated, which will allow mining, metallurgical and scoping studies so it can articulate a specific vision to the market.

Right now the rules restrict it to saying SPD has the potential for being a "robust" project for both the short-sharp sugar hit of the DSO and the larger, longer term SPD potential - given peaks of up to 1.61% vanadium pentoxide has been seen from the early drilling.

Moreover, historical drilling in the area returned magnetic concentrate grades above 2.2% V2O5.

The scoping study for the DSO option could be delivered in the first quarter of 2019, which could support production before next November's AGM, but that is no sure thing, Oliver stressed.

Given a "keenness" for the product from the markets, finding potential off-takers and finance should not be an issue.

The junior is earning up to 73.95% of SPD by funding works through to a definitive feasibility study in return for scrip issued to a private equity fund that expects to end up with 50% of Tando.

Tando shares were trading at 10c this afternoon, capitalising the company at almost $20 million.

The stock was at 5c last December before hitting a peak in May of 26c.