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Corporate Spotlight

Titanium Sands Limited is focussed on defining and developing high grade, high value and easily minable heavy mineral sands deposits.
Titanium Sands Ltd holds five exploration licences a for heavy mineral sands located in North West Sri Lanka on Mannar Island and the adjacent mainland coast.
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ASX Announcement 2 April 2019 

  • A further 802 drill holes have been completed on the Mannar Island Heavy Mineral Sands Project. 
  • This latest drilling has infilled previous resource drilling from 400m spaced lines to 200m spaced lines. 
  • This drilling will contribute to a further resource update planned for July/August 2019. 
  • The drilling also targeted areas of potential resource extension. 
  • Further drilling is underway. 
  • An RC-aircore drilling rig has been acquired and following modifications will be shipped to Sri Lanka to commence further drilling in June.


Resource drilling further to the drilling used in the resource update (reported to the ASX 11th of February 2019*) has succeeded in reducing the nominal resource drilling pattern down from 400m by 50m to 200m by 50m over 90% of the resource envelope (Figs 1-4). A total of 802 holes were drilled, with sampling intervals of 0.5m.

Samples are being prepared in the Company’s Pesalai preparation facility after which they will be sent to a mineral sands laboratory in South Africa.

This drilling will contribute to a further resource update that is planned for July/August 2019.

The drilling also focussed on some prospective areas for resource extensions. Further resource extension drilling is planned.

JORC tables relevant to the drilling, and sampling are contained in Appendix 1. Drill hole collars and sample intervals are contained in Appendix 2. Results and details of analyses will be reported after analyses are completed, expected to be in June 2019.

Resource infill drilling is ongoing at the Mannar Island Project.

Figure 1 Mannar Island Heavy Mineral Sands Project, drilling to date, red holes are post the last resource update (reported to the ASX 11th of February 2019). 

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ASX Announcement 28 March 2019 

  • Scoping study has commenced with expected completion early 2020. 
  • Initial phase of metallurgical test work for scoping study to be complete by end of April 2019. 
  • Offtake partner discussions commenced in the March 19 quarter and are ongoing. 
  • Process plant options study to commence in July 2019. 
  • Mining options study also to commence in July 2019. 
  • Resource infill drilling is continuing in support of a further resource update in June or September 2019 quarter. 
  • Exploration and resource extension drilling to commence with RC aircore drilling rig in early June 2019.

A scoping study has commenced for the Mannar Island mineral sands project focussed around high grade, low capital, low operating cost production of ilmenite, leucoxene, rutile and zircon in various combinations with a long project life.

The study will be on going throughout the remainder of 2019 with completion early next year. Progression of the study components will enable work and expenditure to focus in on the most economically attractive project development pathways at the earliest possible stage.

Process metallurgical test work components of the project scoping study have commenced at the Allied Mineral Laboratory (AML) in Perth, Western Australia. The initial test work will isolate potential product streams using conventional physical separation processes using composite sample material retained from earlier drilling programs. The test work will focus on the ilmenite, leucoxene, rutile, and zircon.

The ongoing metallurgical test work will enable early and meaningful engagement with potential offtake partners. Which will in turn assist in defining viable process plant options.

Mining option studies will be carried out in tandem with the process plant options study commencing in July 2019. This will enable the identification of viable mining and plant scenarios compatible with potential offtake partners. 

Resource infill drilling is continuing. This is intended to support the proposed second resource update model planned for July or August 2019. This updated resource model is expected to provide the necessary resource definition for the Scoping Study.

Exploration and resource extension drilling programs will commence in early June 2019. An RC/aircore drilling rig has been acquired by the company and is being modified to an optimal configuration for the Mannar Island Project. The rig and a full suite of spares and drilling equipment is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka in mid-May. The drilling rig will supplement the shallow drilling being carried out by the company’s local auger teams.

The rig is small enough to be tractor mounted enabling it to efficiently traverse the sands of Mannar Island. It has depth and penetration capabilities in excess of what local conditions require. The drilling rig and equipment will be shipped by container and mounted in Sri Lanka on a locally available tractor. A local drilling team will be trained by an experienced mineral sands driller over the course of this year’s drilling programs.

Titanium Sands Ltd looks forward to regularly updating the market and its shareholders as these planned programs for the Mannar Island Project are progressed over the next 12 months.

Table 1 Current program schedules

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ASX Announcement 11 February 2019 

  • Contained valuable heavy mineral sands have increased to nearly 300% of the previous JORC resource at Mannar Island. 
  • Total Inferred Resource now 53.08Mt at 6.7% THM. 
  • Includes a new high grade zone of 9.85Mt at 9.06% THM. 
  • Leucoxene, potentially a higher value titanium bearing mineral is a significant value component of the heavy mineral suite. 
  • The resource is exposed at surface with essentially no overburden. 
  • Slimes/silt contents average 1.1%. 
  • Large resource expansion potential below the shallow (1-3m) to water table drilling to date, and on the remaining 50% of the tenure considered prospective. 
  • Substantial infill and depth extension drilling to commence as soon as a suitable drilling rig can be mobilised. 
  • Scoping study commencing shortly to ensure expedited project timeline.

11 February 2019 – Perth, Australia: Titanium Sands Ltd (the “Company”, ASX: TSL) is pleased to announce an updated Inferred mineral resource at its Mannar Island Project in Sri Lanka of 53.08 million tonnes at 6.67% heavy minerals (Table 1) (Figure 1). The contained valuable heavy mineral resource has increased to nearly 300% of the previous resource statement reported to the ASX on 22 April 2015*. Correspondingly the resource tonnage has increased to 500% of the previously reported tonnage. 

The heavy mineral suite is dominated by ilmenite and leucoxene with minor but valuable rutile and zircon components. Contained within the resource are two higher grade zones, Domain 0 (10.33Mt @11.86%THM) and Domain 2 (9.85Mt @ 9.06%THM, Figure 2 and Table 1). Resource drilling to date has only been down to the water table which in the interior of Mannar Island occurs at a depth of 1 to 3m below the land surface. The heavy mineral sequences are exposed at surface and there is essentially no significant overburden on the resource.

Acquisition of the Mannar Island Project by Titanium Sands Ltd was formally concluded and the Company re-instated to trading on the Australian Securities Exchange on 18th December 2018**following a $6 million fundraising. 

Dr James Searle, Managing Director commented: We are delighted at this significant upgrade to our maiden JORC Resource at Mannar Island. Titanium Sands will now fast track further infill and extension resource drilling to provide sufficient definition for a comprehensive scoping study. We have commenced metallurgical test work components of the scoping study, and will progress to resource extension and deeper drilling to test for resources below the water table. This is an exciting development for the project which we believe is located on highly prospective tenure with the potential for further resource definition. 

Table 1: Block model inferred mineral resource at a 2% total heavy mineral cut off reproduced from Table 3 below and from the GeoActiv Pty Ltd resource report contained in Appendix 2. 

Note: Domain 0 in the table represents the inferred mineral resources previously reported in full to the ASX on the 22nd of April 2015*. For this updated resource statement additional mineralogical information enabled minor refinements of the mineral components of the THM%.

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Sri Lanka Project

Heavy mineral sand concentrations occur along the modern sandy shorelines of Sri Lanka in a number of places along the north eastern and north western coasts. The heavy minerals have been transported to the coast by river systems from ancient metamorphic rocks that form the hilly interior of the island. The heavy minerals have been locally concentrated by river transport, wind and coastal transport processes. Throughout the last few million years of geological evolution of the Sri Lankan coastal plains and coasts the heavy minerals have been subjected to many cycles of erosion, concentration and re-deposition. As a result of this extensive reworking and removal of lighter sand components, locally high grade heavy mineral sand deposits are present in unconsolidated modern ( 8,000 years old to present day) sands close to or on the coast.

Titanium Sands Ltd holds five exploration licences a for heavy mineral sands located in North West Sri Lanka on Mannar Island and the adjacent mainland coast.


Exploration is currently been focussed around Mannar Island, an island 26 kilometers long and 6 kilometers wide and 140 square kilometres in area (Figure 2) joined to the mainland shore by road and rail connections over a short causeway. Mannar Island is the largest of a chain of sand islands and shoals that extend over 100 kilometers west to southern India in a broad arc (Figure 2) referred to as Adam’s Bridge or Rama’s Bridge depending on which ancient legend of its formation is being referred to.

Mannar Island in its present day form is geologically young feature that has been formed by sand accumulation since rising global sea levels began to stabilize around 6,000 – 8,000 years ago. Driven by the prevailing nearshore current and general circulation in Palk Straight nett sediment transport along the north west coast of Sri Lanka has been northwards until it has been captured by the evolving sand complex of Mannar Island (Figures 3, 4,5) and its adjacent sand spits and submarine banks. This process has tended to concentrate heavy mineral sands in the evolving beaches and coastal dunes of Mannar Island, with lighter carbonate and silica sands being winnowed out and transported west into the chain of sand bars and banks extending out across Palk Straight.

Hand auger drilling in 2010 and then in 2014, prior to Titanium Sands involvement, demonstrated significant high grade concentrations of heavy minerals along the northern and southeaster portions of the Mannar coast (Figures 6 and 7). Drilling at this time was largely restricted to within 150m inland of the modern beach. This was sufficient for an initial JORC standard resource (Table 1) to be reported after the project was secured under option by Titanium Sands Ltd (then Windimurra Vanadium Ltd).

















*An initial JORC inferred mineral resource of 10.3 Mt with total heavy mineral (THM) of 11.7% was reported in full to the Australian Securities Exchange on the 22 April 2015.This resource was based on an historical drill hole data base of 785 auger drill holes and from the 115 holes drilled in early 2015. The drilling and the defined resource envelope were largely confined to within 150m of the Mannar Island shoreline. The Company confirms that this resource statement remains current in regards to the areas covered by the drilling used in the resource model.

Subsequent hand auger drilling in 2016 and 2017 (Figures 6 and 7) has demonstrated that significant heavy mineral concentrations occur in large areas of the Mannar Island interior. Samples from the 2016 and 2017 drilling have been analysed in a specialist mineral sands laboratory in South Africa. Results from this drilling were reported to the ASX on the 30th of January 2018.Mineralogical analyses of the heavy mineral species are being undertaken and a revision of the Mannar Island heavy mineral resources will be undertaken in due course.

Fig 6. Mannar Island current JORC resource envelope and subsequent drilling.

Fig 1. Location of Titanium Sands Ltd Sri Lanka tenure and Mannar Island

Fig 2. The sandy islands, banks and shoals that extend across Palk Straight from Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu in India

Fig 3. Heavy mineral sands Mannar Island

Fig. 4 Heavy mineral sands Mannar Island


Fig 7. Hand auger drilling, Mannar Island prior to acquisition by Titanium Sands Ltd.



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Lee Christensen (Chairman)

Managing Director of Kase Funding Pty Ltd, an Australian based litigation funder, formerly a lawyer of 30 plus years of experience , most recently as senior Partner of Dentons Perth office.

Dr James Searle (Managing Director)

Dr Searle has 34 years experience in base metals, precious metals and mineral sand deposits.  He has led successful exploration, project development and operational teams in Australia, Africa, Northern Europe, and Central Asia. Dr Searle has a BSc(Hons) in geology and a PhD from the University of Western Australia.  He is a Member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and has 22 years of experience in executive and non-executive Director roles on Australian Stock Exchange listed public company boards. Dr Searle is currently also a non-executive Director of ASX listed Kinetiko Energy Ltd.

Jason Ferris (Non-executive Director)

Mr Ferris is a director of Woodchester Capital and has 20 years of experience in corporate finance. He holds an AFSL and an Australian Credit licence. He has been involved in over $3b in property finance since 2005. He has held board positions in Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Nicki Farley (Company Secretary)

Ms Farley has over 15 years of experience working within the legal and corporate advisory sector providing advice in relation to capital raisings, corporate and securities laws and general commercial transactions. Ms Farley also holds a number of company secretarial roles for ASX listed companies. Ms Farley holds a Bachelor of Laws and Arts from the University of Western Australia.


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