Sibanye-Stillwater

ASX-listed AVZ Minerals reports it has received further high-grade results from its Mineral Resource drilling at the Manono Lithium Project in the DRC.

It has received results from a further eight diamond drill holes, none of which were included in the Maiden JORC Mineral Resource estimate reported in early August 2018.

Scoping studies update

Work has commenced on the now 5 Mtpa (previously 4 Mtpa) & 10 Mtpa scoping studies for the Manono Lithium Project. AVZ has increased the scale of the 4 Mtpa study to 5 Mtpa as AVZ is now studying the use of 5 Mtpa modules given the expected economies of scale from this strategy and the size and potential of the world-class resource available to AVZ at Manono.

Strategic funding

As part of AVZ’s ongoing strategy to secure financing for the development of the Manono lithium project, executive level meetings have been held in the USA, Canada, China & Hong Kong over the past month.

AVZ has since been presented with a number of financing options including, but not
limited to, equity investment, off-take pre-payments, project debt as well as other variations and combinations of these instruments.

AVZ is considering these financing options along with other strategies, to determine the best outcome for the Company and shareholders.

Metallurgical test work drilling

AVZ has also commenced drilling large diameter drill holes to collect metallurgical samples for the planned test work associated with the imminent commencement of the Feasibility Study.

A total of 5 holes are planned to produce sufficient material to allow more in-depth metallurgical test work studies to be undertaken during Q4 2018.

Placement of the drill holes has been assisted by the MSA Group with the aim of collecting a spread of mineralisation types and oxidation states.

Drilling progress

The pegmatite intervals in the new infill holes demonstrate substantial thicknesses of higher grade material ranging in depth from just under the weathered zones to deeper in the deposit.

Again, there appears to be no zonation in the pegmatite intersected by these eight new holes.

AVZ’s infill drilling is expected to be completed late in November, with an update to the Mineral Resource Estimate for Manono due before the end of the year.

AVZ’s MD, Nigel Ferguson comments:

“Continued drilling at Roche Dure is increasing our knowledge of the deposit along strike, both to the south-west and north-east of the central part of the main resource area.

“With these new results, we will very likely see an increase in resource tonnages and category at Roche Dure given they were drilled outside the maiden resource ‘area of influence’.

“We expect this to lower the strip ratio over LOM and positively impact the project economics.

“We are very happy that the scale of the Roche Dure mineralisation continues to increase, and we look forward to releasing an updated Mineral Resource Estimate for Manono before the end of the year.

“Following on from our recent funding discussions, we are very encouraged by the amount of interest in the company post the release of the 2 Mtpa Scoping Study and stated interest to participate in accelerating the development of the project as quickly as possible.

“The Tier-1 nature of the project was easily understood and very well received given the quality, size and homogenous nature of the lithium and tin resource.”