Following the receipt of the Amended Land Use Permit (LUP) and Water License (WL) in May 2020, Vital appointed Orelogy Consulting Pty Ltd (Orelogy) to define a pit design which met the conditions of these approvals whilst maximising the contained rare earths. Specifically, the LUP and WL provided approval for 600,000t of material to be extracted from the pit, based on the design assumptions as highlighted in Table 2. These assumptions were based on geotechnical guidelines considering:
- Geological domains
- Geological logging of core including structure and RQD values
- Structural mapping of the decline
- The shallow nature of the open pit (i.e. 35m deep) and
- The lack of groundwater in recent drill holes.