Initial assay results from a lithium and tantalum drilling program at AfriTin Mining’s Uis mine in Namibia have exceeded the company’s expectations, according to CEO Anthony Viljoen.
He goes on to say that the drilling results confirm the company’s belief that the Uis mine is home to one of the world’s largest lithium resources.
The infill drilling program is being carried out at the main V1/V2 pegmatite at Uis, which is currently being mined for tin, to increase the confidence in the deposit’s existing lithium and tantalum estimates.
The programme comprises about 50 holes, with drilling for 27 holes having been completed thus far.
The initial assay results are for the first four holes drilled, with pegmatite intersected in all holes at depths and apparent widths as predicted by the geological model.
Significant V1/V2 pegmatite intersections include 132 m at 0.168% tin, 75 ppm tantalum and 0.74% lithium oxide (Li2O) for drill hole V1V2049, from 124 m to 256 m; and 110 m at 0.171% tin, 92 ppm tantalum and 0.75% Li2O for drill hole V1V2057, from 92 m to 202 m.
Notable intersections of lithium mineralisation within the pegmatite include 8 m at 1.08% Li2O for drill hole V1V2036, from 140 m to 148 m; 10 m at 1.05% Li2O for drill hole V1V2045, from 136 m to 146 m; 12 m at 0.99% Li2O for drill hole V1V2049, from 231 m to 243 m; and 45 m at 1.04% Li2O for drill hole V1V2057, from 136 m to 181 m.
“While the V1/V2 pegmatite displays impressive dimensions and is open-ended at depth, a multitude of surrounding pegmatites presents significant upside potential.
“As a former mining operation, Uis has been extensively drilled but historic assaying has focused solely on the tin with no regard for the lithium or tantalum in the deposit. This programme will increase the confidence of the current lithium and tantalum estimates and is part of our strategy to bring these two commodities into production alongside our tin operation.
“Our recently released preliminary economic assessment for the Phase 2 project, in April, highlighted the economic potential of these game-changing by-product elements. The construction of a new lithium pilot plant will allow us to progress to commercial production phases much faster than a new greenfield lithium resource elsewhere,” comments Viljoen.