AVZ Minerals has announced a 54.1% increase in its 60%-owned Manono lithium resource located in the Democratic Republic of Congo making it the world's largest hard rock lithium deposit.
The announcement also confirmed more than a doubling of the Measured Resource category to over 93Mt following infill drilling since August 2018 which greatly increases confidence levels in the central section of the Roche Dure orebody.
Manono’s Roche Dure pegmatite now has a measured, indicated and inferred resource of 400.4 million tonnes at 1.66% lithium oxide for 6.64Mt of contained lithium oxide with 300,000t of tin as cassiterite grading 750ppm and featuring 13,2005 of tantalum grading 33ppm. The presence of tin and tantalum is expected to provide a significant offset in the operating costs for the planned processing plant.
The overall increase in the total resources is more than ample to underpin the ongoing internal scoping studies for a potential 5Mtpa operation. This follows AVZ’s recently published, revised figures for a 2Mtpa project which indicated robust economic fundamentals for the Manono Lithium Project.
Neil Ferguson, AVZ’s Managing Director, commented: “With drilling at Roche currently winding up for the year, these resource figures are expected to rise further in 2019 as data continues to come in from final drill holes completed. We are also waiting with interest for the results of a six hole, wide spaced, reconnaissance drilling programme at Carrier de L’este in the northern Manono Sector which will be reported on early in 2019.
“With Manono now confirmed as the world’s largest lithium deposit and drill results from the last quarter of 2018 still pending, we are confident that the Manono Project will continue to grow and potentially become a world leading source of lithium.”
The Manono Project covers around 188km2 in southern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is owned by AVZ (60%), La Congolaise D’exploitation Miniere SA (30%) and Dathomir Mining Resources SARL (10%).