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AVZ uncovers more lithium ahead of resource update

AVZ Minerals has completed eight more extensional diamond drill holes at the company’s Manono lithium project in Democratic Republic of the Congo as it looks to significantly increase its lithium resources and reserves.

The eight holes constitute about a tenth of the total metres planned in the ongoing 15,000m program at the project’s Roche Dure deposit with 40 more holes at a minimum depth of 200m to follow.

AVZ currently has two rigs working around the clock with plans to recruit a third as the company looks for extensions in an area 300m north-east of the current open-pit mine design.

The program’s first hole encountered a remarkable 228.95m intercept of pegmatites logged by the geologists on site. Importantly the premier lithium-bearing mineral spodumene has been visually observed in all holes so far.

Samples from the first four holes have been sent to a laboratory in Perth for analysis and assay results will be fed into a new resource estimate on completion of the drilling program,

We are happy to report that the first eight holes are mineralised with coarse crystalline spodumene present.

Early visual indications are as per our expectations and are assisting in interpreting the shape and dip of the orebody moving further north-east along strike from the areas previously drilled.

Whilst the drilling progresses smoothly, AVZ’s part-owned subsidiary, Dathcom Mining SA — the holder of the Manono project — is hosting a team of seven medical researchers who are looking into the health of artisanal miners and people living and working around mines in the DRC.

Trading of AVZ shares has been suspended since early May as the ownership of Dathcom is currently subject to legal wrangling.

Roche Dure has been hailed as the largest global undeveloped hard-rock lithium deposit — a title that rings true when looking at the statistics.

According to AVZ’s latest resource tally, Roche Dure holds 401 million tonnes of ore grading 1.65 per cent lithium oxide.

It even stands head and shoulders above Australia’s mighty lithium deposits of Greenbushes and Pilgangoora with resources of 196.8Mt at 1.9 per cent lithium oxide 309Mt at 1.14 per cent, respectively. Given more spodumene keeps cropping up with each hole AVZ sinks, it appears the behemoth is not yet fully grown.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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