AfriTin Mining (ATM.L) has published a first resource estimate on its 85%-owned Uis tin project in Namibia, where CSA Global has put together an initial resource of 71.5 million tonnes of which roughly 50% is measured and indicated with the remaining 50% as an inferred resource for the tin zones. At an average grade of 0.134% tin, the project now contains 95,500 tonnes of tin in all resource categories.
Additionally, the company’s consultants were able to also add some lithium and tantalum grades on the 71.5 million tonnes, but the tantalum and lithium resource is 100% in the inferred category and with a grade of 85 ppm Tantalum and 0.63% Li2O, there’s considerable potential to add these two elements as a by-product to the main tin operations but this obviously depends on the metallurgical qualities of the rock with an acceptable recovery rate for these two elements.
This first JORC compliant estimate was based on a 26 hole diamond drill program that was aiming to confirm a 30 year old historical resource estimate which consisted of 141 drill holes (13 diamond, 128 percussion drill holes) and was solely focusing on the tin zones. As the historical exploration programs never focused on the lithium and tantalum (and probably didn’t request assay results for those minerals), there’s less data available and that’s why the lithium and tantalum resource is still completely in the inferred category.
A good start for AfriTin and with a current tin price of $16,700/t, the gross value of the rock based on just the tin (and ignoring the tantalum and lithium potential for now) is approximately $22. The resource estimate was based on an anticipated recovery rate of 80% for the tin but further metallurgical test work will provide us with more details.
Disclosure: The author has no position in AfriTin.