AVZ Minerals has announced $15 million of capital raising for funding of 20,000m of phase two drilling and pre-feasibility programs at the Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in which the company holds a 60 per cent interest.
The placement consists of 60 million shares at an issue price of 25 cents per share, along with 30 million attaching options at 30.5 cents, which expire 24 months from date of issue, representing a total of 3.2 per cent of AVZ’s issued shares.
The Manono project is located within the Kibaran Belt, a 100km expanse that runs through the DRC province of Katanga and into Uganda, and drilling covers two separate 20,000m sectors, Manono and Kitotolo, for a total of 40,000m of drilling.
Phase one drilling focusing on the Kitotolo deposit should be completed by the second quarter of 2018, while the phase two drilling will primarily be used to increase confidence in the company’s initial non-JORC resource estimates of 1–1.5 billion tonnes at 1.25–1.5 per cent lithium for the entire project. The company is planning to acquire a JORC 2012-defined resource estimate prior to the start of phase two drilling at the Manono deposit.
Executive chairman of AVZ, Klaus Eckhof, said that the company was committed to its aggressive work schedule to advance development of Manono as quickly as possible.
“We have now secured funding for our planned exploration and pre-feasibility programs through to the end of the year,” he said. “Our existing and potential Chinese partners have told us they are looking for advancement of the project prior to making further commitments, and we are now funded to achieve this goal.