Market darling AVZ Minerals has unearthed its best intercept yet at the Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

AVZ shares climbed 14 per cent to 32.5c on Monday morning before ending the day at 31.5c. The shares have rocketed 1130 per cent in the past year, boosting AVZ’s market value to $512 million.

The company (ASX:AVZ) has hit 295.05m of pegmatite in the first phase of drilling.

Pegmatites are rocks formed from lava or magma that are the primary source of lithium.

“The down-hole intercept, based on geological logging, re-affirms the Manono lithium project as a world-class lithium asset,” chairman Klaus Eckhof told investors this morning.

“As the first hole in our initial 20,000m phase one drilling program, we could not have hoped for a better result.”

AVZ shares over the past year.
AVZ shares over the past year.

Lithium is among the favoured battery metals, with demand driven by electronics and the electric vehicle uprising that is forecast to reach over 500 million vehicles by 2040 from 2 million currently.

The program was intended to confirm high volume lithium and tin discoveries at depths of 235-251m.

Results suggests the Roche Dure pegmatite is thicker than expected.

The hole was drilled 100m south east of a previous drill hole that intersected 235.03m at 1.66 per cent lithium oxide.

The hole intersected a greater thickness of pegmatite than expected, due to the top contact of the pegmatite being intersected at 62m, shallower than expected.

Geological logging of drill core suggests that the new hole contains a similar quantity and distribution of spodumene to that intersected in the previous hole.