Major Australian tin miner has announced an improved Mineral Resource (MRE) for its Bell Mine. The update increases the Resource by 8% net of mining depletion and includes a maiden Resource for the Bell 50 area.

Renison Bell has a nearly 100-year history of exploration, punctuated by periods of inactivity when the mine closed. Metals X, through its 50% Joint Venture Bluestone Mines, works on a continual exploration basis: the company aims to maintain a 7-year mine life. Part of this strategy includes publishing annual MRE updates.

The most recent update, published 30 January 2020, increases the MRE by some 8%, even when including depletion from mining. This includes upgraded estimates for the Area 5 and Leatherwood Trend sections of the mine. While the Area 5 section is bound by the Doliminator Fault, mineralisation crosses over into the Bell 50 area, displaced by around 50m to the west. The Leatherwood Trend remains open up-plunge and into the Huon North area, and Metals X feels that this area will be an important new mining drive.

The updated Resource also includes a maiden MRE for the Bell 50 area. Bell 50, the deepest part of the Renison mine, is highly prospective, with an average grade above 2% Sn. In total, the area holds over 1 Mt of ore, containing some 24,000 tonnes of tin. Although mineralisation is plunging towards the Pine Hill Granite, the likely source of tin mineralisation, the deepest drill holes continue to intersect the Renison Mine Sequence. This geological sequence typically holds the tin ore, and Metals X notes that because of this, further drilling down-plunge is warranted. This may lead to further improved MREs in the future.

Our view: The updated Mineral Resource at Renison Bell indicates the continued viability of the historical mine. The upgraded MRE in Area 5 is promising for future production: currently the mine operates at around 1.2% Sn, while Area 5 has an average grade of 2.1% Sn. Although Metals X may blend this material with lower grade production from other areas, the overall grade will likely improve. Metals X plans to release the Area 5 optimisation study and mining plan in June 2020.