By Business Reporter
SIGNIFICANT concentrations of lithium mineralisation have been established in Namibia, where Montero Mining and Exploration has completed assaying historical drilling results.
The Toronto Venture Exchange-listed company announced last week that lithium-bearing mineralisation, found to be continuous on the surface, also extends to depth, resulting in the company, headed by Chief Executive Officer Dr Tony Harwood, taking steps to define a potential resource at the Soris lithium Project.
Montero has an option to acquire 80 percent of Soris, which will trigger the spending of C$1 million and the completion of a feasibility study within three years of the transfer of the mining rights.
Demand for lithium, used in the rechargeable batteries of electric vehicles, is forecast to rise, as production of electric cars rises, with battery grade lithium currently selling at US$20 000 per ton.
Positive lithium values from inclined and vertical drill holes have been returned from the spodumene pegmatite intercepts. Spodumene has been identified as the major lithium-bearing mineral.
Thirty-one reverse circulation (RC) drill holes were completed in 2015, to test for tantalum and tin on the property, where Montero is analysing for lithium, cesium and rubidium from sample pulps.
Surface channel sampling returned lithium values of 1.93 percent lithium oxide (Li2O) over 14m. Re-assaying of the RC drill chips returned Li2O intercepts of 0.96 percent Li2O over 44m, 1.26percent Li2O over 25m, 1.05 percent Li2O over 22m and 1.12 percent Li2O over 21m.
Montero, which is reviewing and evaluating other opportunities from its operating base in South Africa, also has a rare earth elements project in Tanzania and a phosphates project in South Africa.
The Soris Lithium Project is located in central Namibia, northwest of the town of Uis. The town of Uis is 220km north of Namibia’s largest commercial deepwater port, namely Walvis Bay.
The project is located in the Erongo region and is connected by dirt and asphalt road to the Port of Walvis Bay. The Soris pegmatite field is hosted in the meta-sedimentary units of the Damara Mobile Belt, the northeast-trending branch of the Neo-Proterozoic, Pan African Damara Orogen in Namibia.
The zoned pegmatites at Soris belong to a group of highly fractionated, tantalite-cassiterite, lithium-rich rare metal pegmatites. Lithium mineralisation occurs in the form of spodumene crystals, developed virtually over the whole length of the pegmatite, although the relative abundance of spodumene varies from one location to another.
Spodumene minerals of up to 80cm long are observed inter-grown with quartz towards the pegmatite core zone. The Soris Project pegmatites encompasses several outcrops, varying in length between 100m up to 470m, over a distance of 2.4km, and has been measured in places to be more than 30m wide. The Soris pegmatites were mined on a small scale for tin and tantalum between 1960 and 1990, with an estimated total production of 4 to 5 tons of tantalite concentrate, grading 54 to 61 percent Ta205 and about 4 tons of cassiterite concentrate, grading 64 percent SnO2. More recently, exploration for tantalum and tin, including RC drilling was undertaken until 2015. The pegmatite has not been mined or systematically sample assayed for lithium.
Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd. is a mineral exploration and development company, which is engaged in the identification, acquisition, evaluation and exploration of mineral properties in Africa. Montero currently has a rare earth elements project in Tanzania and a phosphate project in South Africa and is exploring the Soris Lithium Project in Namibia.
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