Lithium Consolidated Mineral Exploration (ASX: LI3) has pegged new ground in eastern Zimbabwe, securing seven exploration assets in the lithium-prospective Mutare Greenstone Belt.
The company today reported that its Zimbabwean subsidiary, Licomex Private Limited, was awarded the assets covering an area of more than 23sq km from the country’s Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
In total, the assets comprise 48 prospective licences which have all been lodged and registered with the ministry. To date, 29 of the licences have been granted while the remaining 19 remain under application.
The Mutare Greenstone Belt is a 100km long greenstone belt hosting locally extensive lithium-caesium-tantalum pegmatites that had been mined in the past for beryl and gemstones and now currently for tantalite and lithium mineralisation. The belt also hosts several tungsten and gold deposits.
Lithium Consolidated’s newly secured acreage includes the Tals 5, Nels Luck, Bepe, Magoda and Magoda North, Day Dawn, Chisuma and Grey Lady assets.
The company has completed preliminary exploration work on the area, including the interpretation of satellite imagery to identify historical workings and potential strike extensions of the known pegmatites and previously unidentified pegmatites, as well as site investigations to confirm the presence of the pegmatites and any potential lithium mineralisation.
Lithium Consolidated chairman Brian Moller said the next step was to examine the early development and production potential of the assets.
“We now look forward to accelerating our regional exploration program with a view to testing the spodumene, petalite and lepidolite mineralisation identified in outcrops and in the historical workings,” he said.
Based on its research and investigations, Lithium Consolidated considers the abandoned historical mines to have early, small-scale redevelopment and production potential, with the flat-lying pegmatites being suited to open pit mining.
There is also the potential to delineate economic lithium deposits through exploration of the surrounding pegmatite clusters, the company added.
The assets could be developed independently or as satellite mining operations given the proximity to each other, depending on exploration results and mineral resource delineation.
It is also worthy to note that the assets are situated close to the border city of Mutare and about 60km from the Mutare Railhead, which connects by rail to the port of Beira in Mozambique.
Lithium Consolidated also holds the Tonopah and Teels lithium brine exploration projects in Nevada, US.
In addition, it has an 80% stake in six granted prospecting licences and two exploration licence applications in north-eastern Botswana.
In Australia, the company has a 100% interest in 15 exploration licence applications, making up the Yilgarn hard-rock lithium project in Western Australia and the Eucla Basin project in South Australia.