AVZ Minerals has unveiled the high-grade goods in the first resource drilling of its high-profile Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Klaus Eckhof-backed company (ASX:AVZ) today reported hits of up to 295m at 1.75 per cent lithium oxide and 856 parts per million of tin from a depth of 63m.

One drill hole returned a thicker intercept of 314m starting at a depth of around 59m.

Typical grades of a hard rock lithium mine range from 0.9 per cent to 1.6 per cent.

These deposits are processed to a concentrate or can be converted to lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide for use in batteries.

“It just continues to be an absolute monster,” managing director Nigel Ferguson told Stockhead.

“The grade is a little bit higher, but I think what we were expecting from the visual estimations of the spodumene we had in the system when we were logging the core, we realised that there was much more spodumene, which is the lithium bearing mineral.”

Investors have been eagerly awaiting the results of drilling after AVZ last year flagged its discovery at Manono as the “longest pegmatite intercept ever reported”.

The Manono find has seen AVZ become a market darling, with its share price rocketing over 600 per cent to trade at around 21.5c. Shares traded as high as 37c in mid-January.

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

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

“With our resource consultants having visited site for independent reviews of the drilling program we are well placed to complete resource calculations as planned,” Mr Eckhof told investors.

The high-grade hits are part of a 20,000m program aimed at delivering a resource by the end of the June quarter.

“It looks like it’s going to be a very, very good deposit at the end of the day,” Mr Ferguson said. “The main thing we’ve got to look at now is getting the infrastructure sorted out so that we can ship the product out.”

AVZ already has something in the pipeline regarding infrastructure and expects to reveal its plans to the market very soon.

Four rigs are operational at the Manono project and are now drilling the 22nd hole of the program.

More drill results are expected in the next two weeks.