Li3 Lithium Corp. [LILI-TSXV, WD9-FSE] said Tuesday it is planning a 5,000-metre drill program at its Mutare Project in Zimbabwe after identifying high-grade lithium targets on the property. Li3 Lithium holds a 50% interest in the Mutare project. The remaining 50% stake is held by Premier Africa Minerals Ltd. [PRMMF-OTC Pink], operator of the Zulu Lithium and Tantalum Mine in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is estimated to hold Africa’s largest lithium resources and the fifth largest globally. As such it is rapidly emerging as an important player in the lithium supply chain.
“Over the past year and a half, major Chinese battery metals companies have committed approximately US$1.4 billion to acquire and develop lithium projects in Zimbabwe,” Li3 said in a press release. .
Li3 Lithium, as Mutare project operator, said it has received assay results from 72 grab samples collected during the initial phase of the 2023 exploration program. The highest grade in the initial phase was 4.14% Lithium Oxide (Li20) from an area called the Nels Luck group of licenses.
The company said the grab samples were from the central and eastern section of the property, including the Nels Luck group of licenses, situated in the Mutare Greenstone Belt East zone. This is one of many target areas within the Mutare Lithium Project, which covers 2,000 hectares of licenses retained in the Mutare Greenstone Belt, an emerging lithium district.
The Nels Luck license hosts a group of lepidolite, spodumene and tantalite-bearing lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatites with an approximate surface expression of 600 metres by 20 metres. The company said the Nels Luck group of licenses is situated about 15 kilometres northeast in the same stratigraphic package, on the southern limb of a regional syncline, that hosts the Sabi Star Lithium Tantalum Mine.
On May 29, 2023, Li3 Lithiium shares closed at 14.5 cents and currently traded in a 52-week range of 30 cents and $0.05.
“The initial high-grade results, up to 4.14% lithium oxide, suggest the potential for high-grade lithium oxide mineralization at surface and at depth within the eastern section of the property,’’ said Li3 Lithium President and CEO Francois Auclair. “We are anxious to commence the 5,000-metre exploration drilling program across the property with emphasis on the Nels Luck group of pegmatites,’’ he said.
Li3 Lithium said it is evaluating that acquisition of additional prospective ground, either through staking or agreements with potential vendors The area was deemed prospective for lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatites based on prior target generation work.
“Management believes the lithium exploration potential of the Mutare Greenstone Belt is analogous to that of the Pilbara Craton pegmatites in Western Australia,’’ the company said.