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Perth-based AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) has announced results from the much-anticipated maiden drilling program on the Carriere de l’Este prospect at its 60 percent owned Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Carriere de l’Este is located five kilometres north-east of the Roche Dure lithium deposit, which contains a resource of 400.4 million tonnes grading 1.66 percent lithium oxide for 6.64 million tonnes of contained lithium.

The results from the first four of six diamond reconnaissance holes drilled at Carriere de l’Este confirmed the potential for another significant lithium deposit with shallow, high grade zones greater than 2.0 percent lithium oxide within wider zones of well mineralised spodumene pegmatite.

LISTEN: AVZ’s Managing Director, Nigel Ferguson, discussing the Carriere de l’Este results

The best intercept returned 89 metres at 2.01 percent lithium oxide and 348ppm tin.

Grades for hard rock lithium deposits typically range between 0.9 and 1.6 percent, with grades for lithium brines ranging between 0.07 and 0.16 percent.

Commenting on the results, AVZ Managing Director Nigel Ferguson said they indicated Carriere de l’Este was bigger than the company first thought.

“Carriere de l’Este is something we have looked at for the past 12-18 months,” he said.

“We initially thought it was only in the order of 100 metres thick and possibly 700 metres long. However our detailed mapping and sampling has come back showing it to be a much larger beast.

“The near surface, high-grade zones of this flat dipping deposit, coupled with strong surface mineralisation noted from mapping and these new drill results, have extended the strike of the deposit to at least 1.5 kilometres long and there is no evidence to suggest it does not continue under cover towards the Tempete pegmatite some two kilometres to the southwest.

“This exciting new discovery confirms Carriere de l’Este as a significant lithium deposit to potentially exceed the Roche Dure deposit.”AVZ has set a conceptual exploration target of 400-600 million tonnes at 1.5-1.7 percent lithium oxide for Carriere de l’Este, roughly in line with the current Roche Dure resource.

Additional high-grade drilling results from Roche Dure announced to the market in December are yet to be factored into the resource and are likely to result in another upgrade.

Only limited drilling will take place at Carriere de L’Este this year as the company focuses on completion of the Roche Dure Definitive Feasibility Study, which is due to be handed down this year.

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