Aspiring Central African lithium developer, AVZ Minerals’ resource drill out has reeled off a further batch of stunning broad pegmatite drill hits from beneath the Roche Dure open-pit floor at its Manono hard-rock lithium and tin project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The company says it has now kicked off an update of the existing mineral resource estimate for the massive Roche Dure deposit.
ASX-listed aspiring Central African lithium developer, AVZ Minerals’ resource drill out has reeled off a further batch of stunning thick, high-grade pegmatite drill hits from beneath the Roche Dure open-pit floor at its Manono hard-rock lithium and tin project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Perth-based company says it has now kicked off an update of the existing mineral resource estimate for the massive Roche Dure deposit, which currently hosts 400 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 1.65 per cent lithium oxide.
The latest set of stand-out drill intersections were returned from AVZ’s recently completed round of nine diamond holes totalling about 1,655 metres that vectored in on previously undrilled areas beneath the historic Roche Dure open pit, or what the company refers to as the pit floor “wedge”.
AVZ says those areas had been inaccessible and under water during its earlier resource drilling programs.
Better assay results from the pit floor wedge drilling included a massive 180m hit grading an even more impressive 1.80 per cent lithium oxide and 1,119 parts per million tin from just 2.00m below the existing pit floor.
Another 245.15m intersection came in at 1.73 per cent lithium oxide and 926ppm tin from 11.45m below the pit floor, while a further 218.60m graded 1.69 per cent lithium oxide and 1,152ppm tin from 6.40m.
Other prior encouraging intercepts from the same program reported earlier this year included 173m at 1.63 per cent lithium oxide and 1,134ppm tin from the pit floor surface, and 203.2m at 1.59 per cent lithium oxide and 1,014ppm tin, also from the pit floor surface.
Management says it will now look at refreshing the Roche Dure geological resource model and perhaps even the definitive feasibility study tabled last year, given the tenor of the new raft of extraordinary results.
AVZ Minerals Managing Director, Nigel Ferguson said: “The final assay results from the last three of the nine planned drill holes on the Roche Dure pit floor again show strong lithium mineralisation from the pit floor surface.”
“They will be merged with our current database and we will re-run the geological resource model to reclassify that portion of the pit floor which was previously modelled as waste due to the lack of drilling information.”
“Following on from the geology remodelling and coupled with the improvements to the plant design parameters, we will then check the previous mine design against the updated model to optimise the mine design, generate new ore reserves and revisit the DFS results.”
The Roche Dure deposit represents one of the world’s largest open-pittable, lithium-rich pegmatite resources.
Proved and probable ore reserves for Roche Dure currently stand at 93 million tonnes of ore averaging 1.58 per cent lithium oxide.
AVZ’s existing DFS on Manono shows the proposed mining and processing operation producing about 700,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate per annum across an initial 20-year mine life.
According to DFS projections, a fully developed Manono is expected to spit out spectacular EBITDA numbers averaging in the order of more than US$400 million a year.
AVZ currently owns 60 per cent of Manono and has an option to increase its stake to 75 per cent.
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