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Zijin Mining to Explore for Lithium in DRC
2022/02/03 1614

Zijin News – Zijin Mining has secured opportunities for further development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, thanks to its outstanding performance in the development of the Kolwezi and Kamoa-Kakula copper mines in the country. Zijin’s first lithium exploration project was recently launched through Katamba Mining, following a shareholders meeting held by the company. Katamba Mining is a joint venture between Zijin and Congolaise d'Exploitation Minière (COMINIERE) of the DRC.

To enhance its competitiveness in minerals critical to the renewable energy transition, Zijin Mining, through its DRC team, strengthened cooperation with COMINIERE in August last year. In addition to purchasing shares of some mining projects owned by COMINIERE, Zijin signed a cooperation agreement with the company to jointly develop two mining licenses - PE12453 and PE13427 at the periphery of the Manono lithium mine in the DRC. Zijin holds a 70% stake in Katamba Mining, and has secured rights to explore and develop two greenfield projects at the periphery of the Manono project.

The Manono lithium mine, which is majority-owned by AVZ Minerals of Australia, is one of the world’s largest lithium-rich LCT (lithium, cesium, tantalum) pegmatite deposits that can be developed through open-pit mining. The presence of lithium mineralization in pegmatite at Manono extends along strike for more than 13km, with a thickness of 20 to 230 meters. The mine’s reserve of lithium oxides stands at 8.78 million tonnes.

The two peripheral exploration projects launched by Zijin are on the extension of the Manono mine, and cover about 435 square kilometers, with potential for lithium-niobium-tantalum pegmatite deposits.

The head of Zijin’s DRC team said the PE12453 and PE13427 permits are situated on important metallogenic belts, and therefore have good mineralization conditions and prospects for discoveries. Field exploration activities will commence soon after the shareholders meeting of Katamba Mining.