Sampling at AVZ Minerals’ (ASX: AVZ) Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has confirmed extensions to the Carrier De L’est pegmatite.
Results from 12 rock chip samples ranged between 1.43% lithium and 4.46% lithium and have increased the Carrier De L’est’s strike length more than 750m.
“The Carrier De L’est pegmatite has been defined, through mapping, to be at least 5,500m long,” AVZ technical director Nigel Ferguson said.
“This additional, potentially high-grade zone, 750m of strike length, indicated that the full strike length of this pegmatite is not fully defined,” Mr Ferguson added.
The sampling program will be followed up with drilling which is due to begin next month, with AVZ targeting an initial resource by the end of March 2018 or early in the June quarter.
Drilling was delayed a month due to regulatory issues importing the drilling contractor Equity Drilling’s equipment.
To ensure the program is completed on schedule, AVZ has secured an additional drilling contractor and will have five rigs on site during the upcoming exploration campaign.
Manono has two large areas of pegmatite which are referred to as the Manono and Kitotolo sectors, with drilling intersecting thick high-grade lithium in both areas.
Previous exploration at Manono returned intersections as wide as 250.9m grading 1.48% lithium and lithium grading up to 1.66%.
AVZ has a 60% interest in the 188-square kilometre licence that includes the historic Manono and Kitotolo mines. The company owns 100% of two other surrounding licences that comprise 242.25sq km.
In addition to its work on the project, AVZ has inked an agreement with JNC Capital Corp for JNS to promote AVZ to the United States market.
AVZ has also has a memorandum of understanding with Shanghai Greatpower Industry regarding off-take opportunities and is in discussions with other interested parties.
By mid-afternoon trade, AVZ’s stock was up 2.22% to sit at A$0.23.