Advanced lithium explorer AVZ Minerals (ASX: AVZ) has unveiled an exploration target for the alluvial-hosted tin component of its flagship Manono spodumene project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
With tin also present at the project, AVZ is evaluating the “significant potential” of a standalone tin mining operation.
The exploration target is in addition to the existing JORC estimate of 125 million tonnes at 175 parts per million tin (low grade domain) and 275Mt at 962ppm tin (high grade domain).
AVZ managing director Nigel Ferguson said there was “compelling evidence” to suggest “significant alluvial tin placer resources exist in the floodplains and along the banks of the current and palaeodrainages of the Likushi River”.
“With a strengthening tin price this could represent a significant geological resource worth pursuing.”
He added if converted to commercially viable resources, the alluvial tin mineralisation had potential to provide further cash flow from Manono.
Alluvial tin exploration target
The company engaged UK-based Behre Dolbear International to undertake a review of historic data and firm up an alluvial tin exploration target.
Following the review, Behre Dolbear has developed an exploration target over the project’s Likushi alluvial plain area of 25M cubic metres to 75Mm3 (diluted) 75 grams per cubic metre to 180g/m3.
The target area encompasses 14 square kilometres.
Manono previously mined for tin
Tin was discovered at Manono in 1910 and was exploited from eluvial, weathered pegmatite and laterite-hosted deposits for more than 60 years.
Lower tin prices and falling grades led to the cessation of tin operations in 1983.
During the 60 years-plus of operations, about 180,000t of tin was extracted from the project.
Between 1939 and 1943, Zairetain, a previous project operator, completed “detailed exploration” on the project’s alluvial and laterite-hosted tin potential.
However, since then no modern or systematic exploration has been undertaken to validate Zairetain’s findings.