AVZ Minerals’ resource drill out continues to impress with broad drill intersections of pegmatite from the Roche Dure pit floor at the massive Manono lithium and tin project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that the company says is predicted to spit out an incredible US$400 million a year in average EBITDA, should it proceed to development.
The eye-catching EBITDA in last year’s definitive feasibility study on Manono was calculated based on 100 per cent ownership of the asset. AVZ currently holds 60 per cent of the project and has an option to move to a 75 per cent interest.
Notable new intersections from the round of mineral resource diamond drilling at the Roche Dure pit floor included 173m going 1.63 per cent lithium oxide and 1,134 parts per million tin from surface and 95m at 1.52 per cent lithium oxide and 1,057ppm tin, also from surface.
The latest drill hits came from previously undrilled areas beneath the historical open pit.
AVZ says pegmatitic rock that was historically mined as tin-bearing feedstock occurs in the pit floor as a “wedge”. The previously undrilled areas had been classified as waste material, that is until now.
Pegmatites in both holes in the pit floor wedge show strong spodumene mineralisation from the top of the holes, according to AVZ.
The new results follow hot on the heels of a recent spectacular 203m intersection from the pit floor wedge that went an average grade of 1.59 per cent lithium oxide and 1,014ppm tin from surface.
We have now completed our targeted drill program of the pit floor ‘wedge’ with logging of all holes demonstrating thicknesses of pegmatite consistent with our current geological model. We look forward to … moving on to revisit our current geological resource model.
Our mine study will then be updated, and our mining optimisation study refreshed using new data from multiple studies that have been completed since our original definitive feasibility study (DFS) published last year.
The Roche Dure deposit at the Manono project hosts potentially one of the world’s largest open-pittable lithium-rich pegmatite resources.
AVZ’s latest published indicated, measured and inferred resource estimate for Roche Dure stands at 400 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 1.65 per cent lithium oxide. The ASX-listed lithium hopeful hopes to deliver a revised mineral resource estimate in the current quarter.
Its delineation of thick zones of lithium mineralisation below the existing pit floor, together with a resurgent lithium market, may turbocharge AVZ’s financial, resource and mineable ore numbers – not to mention its strip ratios.
An initial life of mine forecast for Manono of 20 years assumes proved and probable ore reserves of 93 million tonnes at 1.58 per cent lithium oxide for the production of up to 700,000 tonnes per annum of lithium spodumene grading approximately 6.1 per cent.
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