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ASX-listed Prospect Resources has entered into an option agreement with J3 Mining to acquire up to 75% of the Malemba Nkulu lithium and copper-cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The properties are registered as two “Permis de Exploitation de Petite Mines” (a small  mining permit) covering approximately 455 km2 in the Manono district of the Haut Lomani Province in the DRC - approximately 400 km north-northeast of Lubumbashi, in south eastern DRC.

The option agreement is subject to a free 90 day due diligence period and exploration work is being undertaken during the option period, which expires on 25 September 2018.

The acquisition of another significant project, with lithium and cobalt potential fits with the Prospect Resources profile in energy metals, says Prospect Resources executive chairman Hugh Warner.

“Our team has reviewed numerous Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) cobalt and lithium projects over the past 12 months. We look forward to getting on the ground to begin exploration at Malemba Nkulu.

“Adding a lithium project in such a key metallogenic province to our well-advanced Zimbabwean lithium project is another building block in establishing Prospect Resources as the leading new energy provider in Africa,” says Warner.

While aware that the Malemba Nkulu project is a significant distance from infrastructure, Prospect Resources believes that the acquisition of this option and the exploration and possible resource definition as a strategic play to leverage off the infrastructure required for the Manono project to North.

Due diligence programme

The Malemba Nkulu Project area has previously only been the subject of reconnaissance mapping, but has never been subject to a multi-disciplinary, targeted exploration programme as planned by Prospect Resources.

Tightly spaced geochemistry will be followed by ground magnetics, and where appropriate trenching and pitting followed by air core and reverse circulation drilling.

First pass geochemical soil sampling covering the entire surface area of PEPM12388 and 12390 will be undertaken.  Soil and termite hill samples will be collected on a line/sample spacing of approximately 200 x 100 m.

Should results as anticipated be positive then the company plans an aggressive exploration programme across the project, which will consist of infill soil sampling, geological mapping, ground magnetics and air core and reverse circulation drill programmes. These will focus on defining a JORC reportable mineral resource and generating material for metallurgical test work.