AVZ boosts lithium recoveries at Manono project; meets with DRC President
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Special Report: AVZ Minerals has further increased the grade and recoveries at its Manono lithium and tin project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The company (ASX:AVZ) has also had high level meetings with DRC President Félix Tshisekedi Tshilombo.
Heavy liquid separation test work using a finer ore crush size of 3.35mm has boosted the grade to 6.63 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O) and recoveries to 70.4 per cent for HLSW test work only and no flotation.
That is an increase from a grade of 6.2 per cent and 65.9 per cent recoveries at a 5.56mm crush size, and a grade of 5.77 per cent and 61.7 per cent recoveries at the 10mm crush size through the same HLS process.
Heavy liquid separation test work reports higher recovered grades than dense media separation test work. AVZ is currently undertaking dense media separation test work and a further update is expected soon.
Meanwhile, AVZ is keeping the DRC government updated on the progress of its Manono project.
Last week, a Dathcom Mining SAS delegation led by AVZ’s technical director Graeme Johnston met with President Tshisekedi Tshilombo in Kinshasa, following several meetings with government officials and presidential advisors.
Specific mention was made of the highly successful resource drilling completed in 2018, which prompted AVZ to fast track the definitive feasibility study (DFS).
During the meetings, questions relating to taxation, logistics, energy supply, industrialisation, economic and social development in the Tanganyika Province, and further engagements on key aspects of the project were also discussed.
“We welcome His Excellency’s interest in the Manono lithium and tin project and the support of his office to bring certainty to the DRC’s first, and the world’s largest, undeveloped hard rock lithium deposit,” managing director Nigel Ferguson said.
“We look forward to further engage with key government advisers in the Mines and Finance departments in coming weeks to ensure we move towards a mutually beneficial outcome for the Manono project.”
Manono hosts the largest, highest confidence lithium resource in the world.
And recent test work indicated that material from the Roche Dure target had similar crushing and grinding characteristics and rock strengths to other well-known lithium pegmatite ores.
Pegmatites, which are rocks formed from lava or magma, are the primary source of lithium.
Dewatering of the Roche Dure pit is continuing at a steady rate.
AVZ is stepping up its dewatering efforts with a second pump on its way to the site, which will dramatically increase water pumping rates and allow access to the pit floor.
The company expects to gain full pit access in about two to three months.
Once the pit is fully de-watered, AVZ will start work on comprehensive DFS level pit wall and floor mapping to expand planned geotechnical drilling.
The company also plans to undertake further selective resource drilling to allow upgrade of previously inaccessible pit floor resources and possible grade control drilling test patterns.