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AVZ Minerals (ASX: AVZ) has validated claims that its 60 percent-owned Manono project in the Democratic Republic of Congo contains the world’s largest hard rock lithium resource.

AVZ released an updated Mineral Resource estimate for Manono at the end of November that saw the size of the project increase by an enormous 54.1 percent.

The new estimate put the Manono resource at 400.4 million tonnes grading 1.66% lithium oxide (spodumene) for 6.64 million tonnes of lithium oxide. The resource also contains significant amounts of tin and tantalum that shape as potentially valuable by-products.

Speaking about the resource upgrade, AVZ managing director Nigel Ferguson said: “Notably, this includes more than a 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.

“With Manono now confirmed as the world’s largest lithium deposit and drill results from the last quarter of 2018 still pending, we are confident that the Manono Project will continue to grow and potentially become a world leading source of lithium.”’

The project, located in the DRC’s Tanganyika province, is co-owned by AVZ and the state-owned La Congolaise D’exploitation Miniere SA (30 percent) and Dathomir Mining Resources SARL (10percent).

The current Manono resource is based on the Roche Dure pegmatite, one of six major pegmatite (lithium-bearing host rock) ocurrences at the project, and only 50 percent of Roche Dure has been drilled.

This spectacular endowment prompted China’s Ministry of Land and Resources to dub Manono “the Escondida of lithium” a reference to BHP’s Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world’s largest copper producer.

AVZ has begun testing the other pegmatites at Manono, with results awaited from a six-hole, wide-spaced reconnaissance drilling programme at Carriere de L’Este in the northern part of the project.


This content is produced by Star Investing in commercial partnership with AVZ Minerals. This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.