More high-grade results as AVZ prepares for mineral resource update
Special Report: AVZ’s majority owned “Manono” lithium, tin and tantalum project in the Democratic Republic of Congo – already the world’s largest hard rock lithium deposit — just keeps getting bigger.
Manono’s maiden mineral resource – 260 million tonnes of lithium and 229,000 tonnes of tin — will be updated before the end of the year after drilling at the Roche Dure orebody identified additional high-grade mineralisation.
Intersections from the latest drilling included 273.45m at 1.73% lithium & 953ppm tin from 50.5m below surface.
AVZ managing director Nigel Ferguson said with these new results, AVZ will very likely see an increase in resource tonnages and category at Roche Dure given they were drilled outside the maiden resource ‘area of influence’.
Not only is Manono the world’s largest hardrock lithium deposit, it’s also the second-highest grade ever discovered — with the lowest impurities as reported by official JORC compliant mining industry standards.
Battery manufacturers will need a high purity source of lithium for the next generation of batteries.
Some lithium commentators such as Benchmark Minerals have begun highlighting pricing as well as quality differences as critical in meeting new battery raw material specification requirements.
Manono is one of only a few lithium projects globally that have low impurities of mica or iron-oxide that can meet the quality requirements for the next generation of batteries.
As AVZ prepares to unveil its scoping study on Manono it has recently got validation from two major Chinese investors. In early September, CITIC Metals and Zijin Mining agreed to invest C$800 million collectively in Robert Friedland’s Ivanhoe Mines, which counts the Kamoa-Kakula copper-cobalt project and the Kipushi zinc-copper project in the DRC among its key assets.
AVZ intends to move straight into a feasibility study after delivering the results of the scoping study and it is evident that Chinese interests will feature heavily in funding and offtake discussions.