Sapan Ghai, Chief Commercial Officer of Sovereign Metals (ASX:SVM,LON:SVML) Interview

Sovereign managing director Dr Julian Stephens said: “It is a really remarkable achievement by our team to have made the largest natural rutile discovery ever in just two years since initial identification.

We spoke to Sapan Ghai, Chief Commercial Officer who is based in London to get his reaction to the news update, here are a few of the questions we asked.

1. Can you just run us through the highlights of the RNS?
2. This is a timely discovery given the current supply/demand fundamentals of rutile isn’t it?
3. What’s the plan with the graphite?
4. What can listeners look forward to next?



Sovereign Metals Ltd, (ASX:SVM, AIM:SVML) declared a new record after delivering an updated mineral resource estimate (MRE) of 1.8 billion tonnes. This confirms that the Kasiya Rutile Deposit in Malawi is both the largest rutile deposit ever discovered and the second-largest flake-graphite deposit.

  • Kasiya confirmed as Tier 1
  • New JORC resource 3x previous estimate
  • Largest rutile discovery ever made
  • 2nd largest flake graphite deposit in the world

Sovereign continues to work quickly with its programs, which include the following near- and medium-term goals and developments:

  • To build on the 2021 Scoping Study, an updated scoping study will be completed this quarter. The significant rise in the MRE will drive this, allowing for the possibility to evaluate higher grades, higher production rates, and longer mine lives.
  • Pre-feasibility studies (PFS) activities have begun. These include hydrogeological and metallurgical studies. The next phase of the study will be completed with major site visits by technical consultants. The PFS is expected to be completed in the early part of 2023.
  • Kasiya will continue to drill, with plans to test depth and extend laterally. This includes an aircore drilling machine that will be mobilised in May with a 300-hole/10,000-metre program. It is intended to deepen the best high-grade areas to increase the MRE upgrade. Drill teams will mobilise this month to continue infilling and step-out hand-auger drill drilling.
  • To secure future offtakes, the company is still in contact with strategic partners and potential offtakers in the titanium metal, pigment and welding industries.
  • Continued strong emphasis on ESG/Sustainability – Initial ESIA activities will begin soon including community and environmental baseline surveys. These surveys will inform the future PFS. The focus continues to be on developing low-carbon-footprint operations that take advantage of renewable power supply and soft friable Saprolite mineralisation to make natural rutiles and graphite with a lower Global Warming Potential than other products.

Sovereign’s Managing Director Dr Julian Stephens commented: It is a really remarkable achievement by our team to have made the largest natural rutile discovery ever in just two years since initial identification. The JORC MRE of this scale and grade is clearly highly strategic, Tier 1 and of global significance in a market where natural rutile is in extreme supply deficit.

The step-change in scale will now allow us to examine potentially higher-grade throughput, increased production levels and a longer mine life in the upcoming Scoping Study update. The Company is targeting a large-scale, low carbon-footprint and environmentally sustainable natural rutile and graphite operation which will also positively impact the environmental footprint of titanium pigment and other industries, and provide a significant contribution to the economy of Malawi.”


Dr Julian Stephens (Perth)
Managing Director

+61(8) 9322 6322

Sam Cordin (Perth)
+61(8) 9322 6322

Sapan Ghai (London)
+44 207 478 3900

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