Lithium Consolidated Mineral Exploration (ASX: LI3) has expanded its African footprint after securing two lithium exploration licences in the Alto Ligonha Pegmatite Province of northern Mozambique.
The award of the licences makes Lithium Consolidated the first ASX-listed company to enter Mozambique for hard rock lithium.
The two granted licences cover 10.98 square kilometres and contain historical beryl, tantalite and rare-element mineral mines. While Mozambique was the world’s second largest beryl producer in the 1960s, the lithium-bearing minerals were not exploited during beryl and tantalite mining.
Lithium Consolidated managing director Shanthar Pathmanathan said the new licences formed part of the company’s broader goal of having a major share of lithium supply from Mozambique.
“We are well on the way to consolidating our land position in northern Mozambique, which we believe will emerge as a globally significant lithium province,” he said.
Lithium Consolidated highlighted the fact that northern Mozambique was a pro-mining jurisdiction with well-established infrastructure already in place. The company’s new licences in Mozambique are near the Mocuba–Nampula main road.
Alto Ligonha Pegmatite Province
The Alto Ligonha Pegmatite Province contains a large concentration of pegmatites in Mozambique, including many examples of Lithium Caesium Tantalum family of pegmatites which have been mined since the 1920s.
The geology is dominated by rocks of the Nampula Complex within the Mesoproterozoic Mozambique Belt, predominantly medium to high-grade gneisses.
Lithium Consolidated told shareholders that the province’s current exploration maturity was analogous to that which existed in the Pilbara and Yilgarn Craton pegmatites of Western Australia approximately a decade ago prior to the modern lithium-based exploration.
In addition, the province is known to contain several large sodalithic-type pegmatites that are currently being mined on a small scale, and which were previously mined for tantalite and gemstones. A number of these are currently also being explored for their lithium potential.
Lithium Consolidated holds an expansive lithium portfolio which includes the Tonopah and Teels lithium brine exploration projects in Nevada, US.
Last year, the company undertook a restructure of its portfolio to focus on new African hard rock lithium assets, securing seven lithium exploration projects in Zimbabwe’s Mutare Greenstone Belt.
Lithium Consolidated also has lithium exploration assets in the Yilgarn Province of Western Australia.
Lithium Consolidated shares jumped 21.7% to $0.056 in afternoon trade.