AVZ Minerals has entered into an agreement with Equity Drilling for the first half of a planned 40,000 metre lithium drilling project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Manono lithium drilling project covers two sectors, Manono and Kitotolo, and the initial 20,000 metre depth testing is expected to take three months, with drilling planned to start by December 2017. The program will used one multipurpose and three diamond drill rigs.
The Manono project is located within the Kibaran Belt, which runs over 1000km through the former DRC province of Katanga and into Uganda.
Copper and cobalt mining are a prevalent part of the local economy – the DRC produces over 3 per cent of the world’s copper and much of the world’s cobalt is currently mined in Katanga.
Initial drilling will focus on the Kitotolo sector, which has shown potential for large-scale tin and lithium yields on account of several large spodumene-yielding pegmatite discoveries, the result of seven diamond drill tests by AVZ.
The largest of the pegmatites, Carriere de L’Est, has a proven length of roughly 5500 metres and is larger than the Greenbushes pegmatite deposit in Western Australia.
AVZ’s shares have increased considerably as a result of the Manono project, which has the potential to become the world’s largest hardrock lithium source.