AVZ Minerals has reported an increase in the size of the world’s largest hard rock spodumene deposit at its 60 per cent-owned Manono project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The mineral exploration company revealed a 54.1 per increase in total measured, indicated and inferred resources, from 259.9 million tonnes to 400.4 million tonnes grading 1.66 per cent lithium oxide (spodumene).
This includes 42.1 million extra tonnes in combined measured and indicated resources alone.
The total resources boast 6.64 million tonnes of lithium oxide, 300 karat of tin as cassiterite grading 750 parts per million (ppm) tin, and 13,200 tonnes of tantalum grading 33ppm tantalum.
Drilling at one of Manono’s largest pegmatites, Roche Dure, is completed for 2018.
AVZ managing director Nigel Ferguson said, “I am very pleased to be able to announce a solid 54.1 per cent increase in the JORC ore resource estimate for our 60 per cent owned Manono lithium project.
“More importantly, this includes more than doubling of the measured resource category to over 93 million tonnes following infill drilling since August 2018. This greatly increases confidence levels in the central section of the Roche Dure orebody.”
The resource update also reported one of the lowest potentially harmful element, iron (III) oxide when compared to other ASX-listed hard rock deposits.
Scoping studies for a potential five and 10 million tonne a year operations were also under way, with its update expected in mid-December this year.
“With drilling at Roche Dure 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,” Ferguson said.
The Manono lithium-tin-tantalum project lays within the mid-Proterozoic Kibaran Belt that stretches over 1000 kilometres through Katanga and into southwest Uganda.