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Force Commodities shares shot up as much as 90 per cent on news it plans to form a new lithium production focused partnership on African land that is now mined for tin and tantalum.

The shares hit a 52-week high on Wednesday, touching 9.5c before ending the day at 9c — an 80 per cent gain on the prior day’s closing price.

Force (ASX:4CE) is establishing a joint venture with tin and tantalum miner Mining Mineral Resources (MMR) to explore the Kanuka project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for lithium.

The 194 sq km project, which comprises a granted mining and exploration licence, lies immediately south of AVZ Mineral’s (ASX:AVZ) Manono lithium project and 20km east of Force’s Kitotolo lithium project.

 

4CE shares over the past week. Source: Investing.com
4CE shares over the past week. Source: Investing.com

In September, Klaus Eckhof’s AVZ Minerals revealed that it had one of the “longest pegmatite intercepts ever reported”.

Pegmatites are rocks formed from lava or magma that often contain rare earth minerals and crystals. They are the primary source of lithium.

MMR currently operates tin and tantalum mining and processing operations on part of the Kanuka project.

The joint venture will focus on new areas on the licences that are not currently impacted by mining and are considered highly prospective for pegmatite-hosted lithium mineralisation.

While no previous lithium focused exploration or mining has been conducted on the Kanuka licences, grab samples taken by Force during its due diligence program indicated the presence of high-grade lithium mineralisation of up to 2.12 per cent.

Pegmatites have been identified at surface and extend for over 3km in length and 200m in width, Force noted.

Pegmatites have also in places been exposed by historic and current mining operations and mined down to depths of up to 15m.

Force can take a 51 per cent stake in the joint venture by issuing an initial $200,000 worth of shares to MMR, funding $2 million in exploration and issuing up to $1 million worth of additional shares once it has defined a resource of over 1 million tonnes of contained lithium.

MMR will also be entitled to a 2.5 per cent royalty on sales of lithium once the Kanuka project is in production.

The deal will give Force joint venture interests in granted mining and exploration licences over around 600 sq km of “proven lithium-bearing pegmatites”, the company said.

Force has completed a $3 million placement, which closed oversubscribed, to ensure it has sufficient funds to undertake an aggressive exploration program at Kanuka.

The company has been contacted for comment.