AVZ Minerals pulls up more record thick lithium intersections at Manono

AVZ Minerals ASX Roche Dure Manono drill lithium intercept
AVZ has scoping studies for 5Mtpa and 10Mtpa currently underway.

Lithium explorer AVZ Minerals (ASX: AVZ) has pulled up yet more record lithium intersections from ongoing drilling at its flagship Manono project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with latest drill intercepts up to 350.95m thick.

The 350.95m intersection graded 1.44% lithium and 376 parts per million tin from 146.3m down-hole.

Other highlight results were 262.02m at 1.74% lithium and 698ppm tin from 105m and 236.47m at 1.70% lithium and 422ppm tin from 154m.

These latest results follow on from similar record assays reported earlier this year that included 295.03m at 1.75% lithium and 856ppm tin from 62m, and 289.52m at 1.63% lithium and 845ppm tin from 83.3m.

“Continued drilling at Roche Dure is increasing our knowledge of the deposit along strike, both to the south-west and north-east of the central part of the main resource area,” AVZ managing director Nigel Ferguson said.

The previous drilling led to AVZ debuting its maiden resource for the Roche Dure pegmatite at Manono in August, which revealed the project hosted the world’s largest known hard rock spodumene deposit.

According to AVZ, the resource of 259.9 million tonnes grading 1.63% lithium for 4.25Mt of contained lithium oxide was calculated on only 50% of the pegmatite’s known strike length.

An updated resource that includes these and other more recent drill results is expected to be published before the end of the year.

“With these new results, we 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. We expect this to lower the strip ratio over life of mine and positively impact the project economics,” Mr Ferguson added.

Meanwhile, scoping studies are underway to evaluate the viability of a 5Mtpa operation and a 10Mtpa mine.

An initial scoping study was reported earlier this month and indicated a 20-year mine life was possible at 2Mtpa.

The scoping study estimated the project had a pre-tax, pre-royalty net present value of about US$1.6 billion, with AVZ’s 60% share equating to around US$0.93 billion.

“Following on from our recent funding discussions, we are very encouraged by the amount of interest in the company post the release of the 2Mtpa scoping study and stated interest to participate in accelerating the development of the project as quickly as possible,” Mr Ferguson said.

By mid-morning trade, AVZ’s share price had lifted 1.11% to $0.091.

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