The deposit of Ranobe has had more than $ 20 million of exploration expenditures and evaluation since it has been discovered in 1999.
Initial work of exploration in the Toliara region has been conducted since 1999 and had resulted in the discovery of mineral sands in Ranobe, Ankililaoka, Basibasy and Morombe. Additional drilling have been undertaken in 2000, 2001 and 2003.
The deposit of Ranobe has been subject to a complete pre-feasibility study, conducted by Exxaro Resources Ltd. (Exxaro) from 2003 to 2009 and a considerable amount of work has been completed. This includes the definition of resources compliant to the JORC and feasibility study reports for the mining, processing, infrastructure and the environment.
The large scale dredging operation planned at Ranobe to feed the smelter in South Africa has not met the viability criteria of Exxaro investment and, given the difficult political and economic conditions of Madagascar, Exxaro eventually has withdrawn itself from the project in July 2009.
Following the withdrawal of Exxaro in 2009, a comprehensive review of the project has been undertaken and a new concept of development of the project has been established for the deposit Ranobe, in preparation for the exploitation of ilmenite, rutile and Zirconia that meets the needs of international market.
The primary objectives of that review were:
- to focus the initial development in the area with high content in the deposit of Ranobe
- to adopt simple methods of exploitation and mineral separation
- to take advantage of existing infrastructure, such as the port of Toliara
- to stabilize the long-term potential of the Toliara Sands Project by proving the viability of development and mining operation.
The Toliara Sands project is now developed by World Titanium Resources (WTR).
The deposit Ranobe is expected to produce about 400.000 tpa of ilmenite concentrate and 43.000 tpa of rutile / zircon concentrate during the first twenty years. Toliara Sands has more than 4.7 billion tons to explore in its licenses located at Ranobe, Ankililaoka, and Basibasy Morombe, including 707 million tons of heavy mineral at 6.5% content.
The main interest of Toliara Sands is to move quickly with its development programs on Ranobe deposit. All required studies and approvals for a decision of development should be set in the second half of 2012, followed by the construction of the plant and other necessary infrastructures, the launching and the first production expected in 2014.
Bâtiment M-N Ex-Cité BRGM
Enceinte COMATO - Mahavatse II
World Titanium Resources