AVZ Minerals has increased the mineral resource estimate for its 60-percent-owned Manono lithium-tin-tantalum project by 54.1 percent.
The project, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Tanganyika province, is co-owned by La Congolaise D’exploitation Miniere (30 percent, a state-owned company) and Dathomir Mining Resources (10 percent, a privately owned company). AVZ owns 60 percent.
According to AVZ, Manono’s total resource grew from 259.9 million tonnes (Mt) to 400.4 Mt grading 1.66 percent lithium oxide (spodumene) and containing 6.64 Mt of lithium oxide.
Also included in the increase is 300,000 tonnes of tin as cassiterite grading 750 parts per million (ppm) tin, and 13,200 tonnes of tantalum grading 33 ppm tantalum.
Meanwhile, the measured resource grew 117 percent from 43 Mt to 93.5 Mt, while the inferred resource spiked 87.8 percent from 112.2 Mt to 210.7 Mt.
“The overall increase in the total resources is more than ample to underpin the ongoing internal scoping studies for a potential 5Mtpa operation and follows close on the heels of our recently published, revised figures for a 2Mtpa project which indicated very strong economic fundamentals for the Manono lithium project,” AVZ Managing Director Nigel Ferguson said in a statement.
“With Manono now confirmed as the world’s largest lithium deposit and drill results from the last quarter of 2018 still pending, we are confident that the Manono project will continue to grow and potentially become a world leading source of lithium,” he continued.
The updated estimate comes after Manono’s maiden resource was announced in August 2018, and follows drilling at one of the project’s major orebodies, Roche Dure.
Going forward, the company plans to continue drilling into 2019; this may include infill drill holes at Roche Dure, initial drill holes at the Tempete and M’Pete pegmatites and continued wide-spaced drilling at the Carriere de l’Este pegmatite.
However, AVZ says its “main thrust of work moving forward” will focus on feasibility activities and studies to optimize Manono’s economic viability.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.