Investors will be watching AVZ Minerals closely this week as it prepares to release the very first resource for its Manono lithium project in the Congo.

The explorer (ASX:AVZ) has gone into a trading halt this morning pending the release of the maiden resource.

Investor interest in AVZ rocketed after the lithium explorer announced in September last year that it had discovered one of the “longest pegmatite intercepts ever reported”.

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

Following the news, AVZ shares soared nearly 470 per cent to a 52-week high of 37c in January.

Shares have since fallen back, closing Monday at 14c.

High-profile mining entrepreneur Klaus Eckhof last month resigned as chairman after selling down a chunk of his shareholding — but told Stockhead he planned to remain involved with AVZ Minerals.

“At the end of the day we are pretty close to the resource anyway and the next step is going into production,” Mr Eckhof said at the time.

“It’s a world-class resource coming out in the next four weeks and that’s all I needed. The rest is for other people to do.”

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

AVZ has plenty of cash, with around $16.3 million in the kitty at the end of the June quarter.

The company is in the process of completing a scoping study, due for release in August and is on track to complete its massive 20,000m drilling program in September.

AVZ has requested the trading halt until August 2.