Metallurgical test work carried out on AVZ Minerals’ (ASX: AVZ) Manono lithium has generated “encouraging” results and “a number” of potential processing routes to produce a spodumene concentrate in excess of 6%.
The test work generated a 6.3% spodumene concentrate based on 73% dense media separation (DMS) and 94% flotation recovery rates using Roche Dure feedstock grading between 1.4% and 1.76%.
Several processing routes were trialled to create the concentrate including flotation or variations of DMS and flotation.
“Results for this preliminary metallurgical test work on coarse reject material from two diamond drill holes testing the Roche Dure prospect provides further support for an extremely strong project,” AVZ Minerals executive chairman Klaus Eckhof said.
“Having a plus-6% lithium concentrate produced, with low values of detrimental elements without optimisation techniques being applied, positions the company extremely well against its peers and compares favourably with historical Belgian work carried out, which produced a 6.8% lithium concentrate,” Mr Eckhof added.
Manono lithium project
AVZ Minerals’ Manono lithium project encompasses around 430 square kilometres in the Democratic Republic of Congo. AVZ Minerals’ owns 60% of the main 188sq km Manono tenement and 100% of the surrounding leases.
A fast-tracked drilling program is underway at Manono, with initial 20,000m that kicked-off in February progressing to schedule and is due to finish up before the end of the current quarter, with a maiden resource to be released soon after.
Assays from the first drill holes at Roche Dure were published at the end of last month and returned 292.03m grading 1.75% lithium and 856 parts per million tin from 62m and 289.58m grading 1.63% lithium and 845ppm tine from 83.3m.
Of note, AVZ Minerals’ claimed the assays revealed the pegmatite was closer to surface than initially thought.
Once the current drilling campaign has wound up, AVZ Minerals’ plans to start phase two shortly after.
By mid-afternoon trade, AVZ Minerals’ share price had dipped almost 2% to A$0.167.