Force Commodities (ASX: 4CE) has kicked-off a maiden exploration program at its recently acquired Kitotolo lithium project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The first exploration phase involves 11 test pitting lines, with each line 1km in length. Local contractors and a large excavator have been mobilised to site to carry out the test pitting.
The test pitting is designed to explore a wider area quickly and expose bedrock to allow near surface sampling to gain a better understanding of the mineralisation.
Phase one is due for completion in mid-December, with trenching work to begin under phase two early next year.
The phase three program will involve regional test pitting and trenching and will take into account results from the first two phases.
“Work is now underway with test pits being completed to assist in our structural understanding, as well as determining the strike and width extent of the lithium bearing pegmatite that we have identified, and allowing further sampling and assay results,” Force head of exploration James Sullivan said.
“Further examples of weathered spodumene have been identified in the Katamba pit and in the initial test pitting confirming the lithium potential of the Kitotolo lithium project,” he said.
Force has been full steam ahead with the Kitotolo project, only committing to the acquisition in early October after four weeks’ due diligence at the project. After completing due diligence, “significant” and “widespread” visible spodumene and other lithium bearing minerals had been identified.
In mid-October, Force announced the assays from rock chip and channel sampling at Kitotolo, which revealed lithium grading between 0.19% and 2.15%. The sampling program also identified tantalum and tin.
The acquisition was formalised in mid-November, when Force executed a joint venture agreement with DRC Government owned Cominere SA which holds a 30% interest in the project.
Under the venture terms, Force will fund all exploration through to completion of a feasibility study. The company will also be responsible for coming up with project development funding.
Force believes Kitotolo lies in the same geological setting as AVZ Minerals’ (ASX: AVZ) Manono lithium project which is 40km away.
AVZ Minerals is targeting a mineral resource at Manono of 1.2 billion tonnes grading 1.5% lithium. However, at this stage, this target is purely conceptual.
Kitotolo comprises more than 400 square kilometres of prospective tenements.