HomeCentral AfricaDrilling contractor mobilises crew at AVZ Minerals' Manono project

Drilling contractor mobilises crew at AVZ Minerals’ Manono project

DRC – AVZ Minerals entered into an agreement with Equity Drilling in October to undertake an initial 20 000 m of drilling at the Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The drill programme has been designed to define initial JORC compliant mineral resources at the Kitotolo and Manono sectors of the project.

The drilling programme, using one multi-purpose and three diamond drill rigs, is expected to commence in early December 2017 and take three months to complete.

Drilling will initially target the Roche Dure pegmatite, Kitotolo sector, where recent drilling returned the following results:

  • MO17DD001 reported between 24.5 m and 263.9 m, an intercept of 235.03 m at1.66% lithium oxide and 1 001 ppm tin.
  • MO17DD002 reported between 65.5 m and 268.3 m, an intercept of 202.8 m at 1.57% lithium oxide and 1 078 ppm tin.

AVZ Minerals believes that the Roche Dure pegmatite holds potential for significant lithium and tin mineralisation given the expected approximate thickness of up to 220 m and a potential strike length of some 2 100 m.

Drill-holes MO17DD001 and MO17DD002 are approximately 400 m apart through the thickest section of the pegmatite and this zone will receive initial drill testing on sectional lines 100 m apart and drill holes 100 m apart.

Drilling will progress to the north and south along strike.

Road rehabilitation

The Manono lithium project is located approximately 500 km due north of Lubumbashi, the capital of the Katanga Province, in the south of the DRC.

Lubumbashi – the mining capital of the DRC – acts as a hub for many of the country’s biggest mining companies. Manono can be accessed from Lubumbashi by 1.5 hour flight or by road.

Dathomir Mining Resources sarl, one of AVZ’s joint venture partners at the Manono lithium project, has agreed to facilitate the rehabilitation of the road from Lubumbashi to Manono at an estimated cost of US$285 million.

AVZ has been advised that an agreement has been entered into between a Chinese affiliated investor group (CIG) and the DRC Ministry of Infrastructure, Public Works and Reconstruction pursuant to which the CIG will fund rehabilitation and tarring of the road from Luambo to Manono – which covers approximately 466 km of road surface. The road from Lubumbashi to Luambo has previously been tarred.

Feature image credit: AVZ Minerals

Chantelle Kotze
Chantelle Kotze is a Johannesburg-based media professional. She is a contributor at Mining Review Africa (Clarion Events - Africa) and has created content for the media brand over the past 6 years.