AVZ Minerals plans to release the first lithium resource for its Congo project next month after unearthing more thick intercepts.

The company (ASX:AVZ) has completed 12,500m of its 20,000m drilling program at the Manono project — but says it does not need to complete the entire program before it can release a maiden resource.

“We’ve probably got another three or four days and we’ll draw a line in the sand,” managing director Nigel Ferguson told Stockhead.

“Probably around 40 drill holes from the current drilling program will be used for the first JORC-compliant resource, which we will do in July.”

JORC refers to the mining industry’s official code for reporting exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves, managed by the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee.

Shares were up 4.5 per cent at 9.3c on Monday morning.

AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) shares over the past year.
AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) shares over the past year.

A resource was initially expected in June, but some minor delays has pushed it back to July.

Drilling is taking place at a target called “Roche Dure” – which is one of the two biggest pegmatites at the site.

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

The latest hits include an intersection of 263.2m at 1.52 per cent lithium.

“The Roche Dure pegmatite itself is just proving to be consistently 200m-plus,” Mr Ferguson said. “We’ve had some up to almost 300m.”

AVZ previously outlined an exploration target of between 300 and 400 million tonnes for the Roche Dure target.

Mr Ferguson says the initial resource will likely be a “healthy portion” of that target and will be followed up with a bigger resource about three months later, once the entire 20,000m drilling program has been completed.