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AVZ Minerals boosts Roche Dure lithium and tin ore reserves by 41.6%

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AVZ Minerals Ltd’s (ASX:AVZ) (OTCMKTS:AZZVF) (FRA:3A2) recent ore reserve estimate has resulted in an increase of 41.6% at Roche Dure deposit of the Manono Lithium and Tin Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The company is transitioning the project into development supported by the JORC proved and probable ore reserves of 131.7 million tonnes which represent a considerable increase from the 93 million tonnes reported in April 2020’s definitive feasibility study (DFS).

In addition, the average lithium grade has increased by 3.1% from 1.58% to 1.63% lithium oxide while the tin grade of 990 ppm remains the same but there has been a 41% increase in contained tin metal to 130,300 tonnes.

Notably, the ore reserve estimate contains 65 million tonnes in the proved category and 66.6 million tonnes in the probable category.

“A fantastic result”

AVZ managing director Nigel Ferguson said: “This is a fantastic result for the Manono Project, with a 41.6% increase in mineable reserves, a 3% increase in head grade from 1.58 to 1.63% Li2O and a 47.5% increase in the Life of Mine (LoM), which was essentially capped at just under 30 years due to limitations predicting economic factors beyond this time frame.

“Just one-third of the mineral resources at Roche Dure is converted to ore reserves and extracted over the LoM, largely due to the lack of data and costings for replacing processing equipment and certainty forecasting SC6 prices beyond the current LoM.

“Improvements in both capex and opex figures from our optimised engineering studies have also contributed to this significant ore reserve increase, with details on these study areas to be reported soon.”

Shares today have been as much as 6% higher to A$0.20 while the company’s market cap before the opening was approximately A$610.6 million.

The Roche Dure ore reserve statement.

Life of Mine increase

AVZ has also outlined an increase in the Life of Mine (LOM) to 29.5 years based on a 4.5 million tonnes per annum operation underpinned by the ore reserves, an increase of 47.5% from April 2020 DFS.

Promisingly, the Roche Dure ore deposit continues to impress as potentially the largest standalone global hard rock lithium asset based on proved and probable ore reserves.

Ferguson adds: “In addition, ongoing studies are allowing us to fine-tune the quantum of necessary funds required to bring the mine into production.

“The upgraded JORC ore reserve estimates along with our optimised engineering studies and ongoing funding studies, have delivered a major step forward for the company as we strategically advance the Manono Project towards a full bankable status in the near future.”

- Ephrems Joseph

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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