03/03/2021 - 15:39

AVZ grows African lithium monster

03/03/2021 - 15:39

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AVZ Minerals continues to kick goals at its Manono lithium project in Africa with recent drilling to facilitate ground-water monitoring returning wide intercepts of high-grade lithium mineralisation, extending the known ore envelope an additional 90 metres beyond the current pit design. New drill intercepts include a stunning 98.0m grading 1.79 per cent lithium oxide and 1,174 parts per million tin from only 2m down-hole.

An aerial veiw of the Manono lithium project in the DRC, central Africa. Credit: File

AVZ Minerals continues to kick goals at its Manono lithium project in Africa with recent drilling to facilitate ground-water monitoring returning wide intercepts of high-grade lithium mineralisation, extending the known ore envelope an additional 90 metres beyond the current pit design. New drill intercepts include a stunning 98.0m grading 1.79 per cent lithium oxide and 1,174 parts per million tin from only 2m down-hole.

The company’s latest results come from a nine-hole reverse circulation drilling program designed to allow the placement of piezometers – which are used to measure water levels - with all holes designed to be outside the delineated ore system.

However, five of the nine holes intersected pegmatite-hosted lithium mineralisation, which also included intercepts of 31m at 1.65 per cent lithium oxide from 46m and 21m at 1.38 per cent lithium oxide from  74m down-hole.

AVZ’s ongoing drilling success outside the current mine design suggests the Manono ore system may be far larger than is recognised by the current exploration and development work program.

AVZ Minerals Managing Director, Nigel Ferguson said:“These unexpected results confirm the excellent prospects of extending the Roche Dure open pit into the neighbouring ‘Kyoni’ pegmatite.”

“The Kyoni pegmatite is not actually a separate pegmatite to Roche Dure but is simply a local name given to the historical pit where mining previously occurred.”

“It is very encouraging to note a significant and thick +2% lithia zone near the surface that can be optimised to provide a possible high-grade feedstock for start-up mining operations.”

“We look forward to updating our mining optimisation study using all of the new data collected since our original Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) was published in April of 2020.”

AVZ’s Manono lithium-tin project is located within the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa. The project already boasts a colossal, high-grade open pit resource of 400 million tonnes grading 1.65 per cent lithium oxide.  However, given the continuing exploration success within the historical Roche Dure open pit and its surrounds, the monster resource is now likely to grow even larger.

The company tabled a definitive feasibility study for Manono in April 2020 unveiling an eye-catching set of numbers which included a 20-year mine life, a A$3.25 billion Net Present Value and an impressive A$515 million annual EBITDA.

AVZ is now working its way through bevy of pre-development studies and approvals, including environmental and social impact assessments in addition to geotechnical studies, as it charges towards  making a final investment decision over the project.

The company’s ongoing success seems to be increasingly de-risking the development of Manono and with drilling continuing to extend the already massive resource, it is beginning to look as though AVZ’s existing work program may have only scratched the surface of this emerging world-class hard-rock lithium project.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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