Avz Minerals Ltd (ASX:AVZ) (FRA:3A2) (OTCMKTS:AZZVF) is targeting a March 2020 quarter completion date for a lithium-tin definitive feasibility study (DFS) after it produced encouraging tin-tantalum recovery rates from phase I of a confirmatory testing program.
The Western Australian minerals explorer has been undertaking large-scale dense media separation (DMS) test work on ore from its flagship Manono Lithium-Tin Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Tanganyika province using a 250-millimetre cyclone.
AVZ is stepping up to a 65% interest in Dathomir Mining Resources SARL, the sole owner of Manono project.
The Manono resource is the largest lithium project with the highest grade owned by an ASX-listed company.
It has a measured, indicated and inferred resource of 400 million tonnes grading 1.65% lithium oxide, 715ppm tin and 34ppm tantalum.
During now completed phase I bulk sampling of ore from the Tier I project, scientists used an economically-preferrable 5.56-millimetre sample crush size at the same separation densities used in DMS100 testing.
The 5.6-millimetre crush at 2.95 SG produced 59.6% lithium oxide and 48.2% tin oxide recoveries, with 5.8% lithium and 0.49% iron oxide grades.
Mica grades were not assayed.
During DMS100 testing scientists had produced a 5.6-millimetre crush at 2.95 SG produced 59.8% lithium and 35.6% tin recoveries, with 5.8% lithium, 0.5% iron and 2.7% mica grades.
A 5.6-millimetre crush at 2.95 SG with a reflux during DMS100 testing produced 60.9% lithium and 43.1% tin recoveries, with 5.9% lithium, 0.45% iron and 2.1% mica grades.
AVZ is hoping to make minor changes to DMS250 test density so testers can achieve a lithium recovery closer to results seen with DMS100 testing.
Tin recoveries were better in the DMS250 testing, which AVZ thought could have been a result of a better tin mass balance from the processing of a larger sample mass.
What are AVZ’s next steps?
West Perth-based AVZ will use its phase II metallurgical test program to optimise concentrate grade and recovery rates.
The company also plans to produce a definitive feasibility study for the project by the March 2020 financial quarter.
AVZ Minerals managing director Nigel Ferguson told the market today, “The results of our phase I metallurgical program will now allow GR Engineering Services to rapidly advance the definitive feasibility study, which we expect will be completed around Q1 2020.
“Tin and tantalum recovery from the DMS250 are very encouraging and it is expected that further test work will improve on these numbers.”
GR Engineering Services (ASX:GRV) is a globally-respected Australian engineering, consulting and contracting company that provides engineering design and construction (EDC) services to the resources industry and minerals processing industry sectors.
Who will lead AVZ as its new executive chairman?
AVZ is following a path to appoint a new chairman to lead the company’s board of directors.
Managing director Ferguson noted today the company had made progress with the appointment, saying “AVZ Minerals is close to announcing a new non-executive chairman, with his appointment only subject to confirmation of an official start date.
“We have spent considerable time and effort choosing a non-executive chairman with an excellent and complementary track record of relevant experience in the mining industry, specifically in the DRC.”
The company has seven directors on its board who have been leveraging their DRC, financial and development expertise to pursue a strategy for advancing Manono through the value chain.