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AVZ Minerals reels in monster African lithium drill hits

AVZ Minerals has gathered massive lithium-rich spodumene-bearing pegmatite intercepts from its Roche Dure deposit at its Manono project in the DRC. Credit: File

AVZ has reeled in monster lithium hits from the final 36 holes of a 53-hole resource drill-out of the Roche Dure deposit at its Manono project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The latest results include an extraordinary 342m at 1.86 per cent lithium oxide and 172 parts per million tin from 208m. Other notable hits from its extension drilling program at the deposit include 378m averaging 1.74 per cent lithium oxide and 525ppm tin from just 64m and a whopping 460m coming in at 1.48 per cent lithium oxide and 483ppm tin from 100m.

From the company’s latest batch of assay results, 927 samples returned values greater than 2 per cent lithium oxide, of which 143 samples kicked up 3 per cent or more lithium oxide. A handful came in above 4 per cent, peaking at 4.89 per cent lithium oxide.

More than 15,500m perforated the extensive pegmatite swam at Roche Dure in a campaign designed to infill and extend AVZ’s remarkable ore body, which stretches 1.8km and to depths of 300m. Incredibly, mineralisation remains open along strike and at depth.

Management says recent drilling located areas of late-stage alteration of the pegmatite, with the associated typical lower lithium values. The zones are balanced with significant thicknesses of lithium mineralisation, with grades showing more than 2 per cent elsewhere in the ore body.

Taking out the enviable moniker of being the biggest and highest-grade undeveloped hard-rock lithium project in the world, the Manono project has a JORC mineral resource estimate of 401 million tonnes at a grade of 1.65 per cent lithium oxide.

In comparison, Pilbara Minerals’ renowned Pilgangoora operation boasts a resource of 305 million tonnes averaging 1.1 per cent lithium oxide, while Talison Lithium’s Greenbushes mine has 360 million tonnes at 1.5 per cent lithium oxide.

AVZ holds a 75 per cent interest in the Manono Project, 500km north of Lubumbashi in southern DRC, with the DRC government mopping up the remaining 25 per cent.

The Manono project is strategically positioned as a clean, sustainable source of lithium earmarked to feed increasing demand in the global lithium-ion battery value chain.

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