Australia-listed mining firm AVZ Minerals has announced a “potentially massive” new lithium deposit discovery in the Democratic Republic of Congo to shore up moves to supply electric vehicle battery makers in China.
MD Nigel Ferguson said the discovery confirms Carriere de l’Este “as a significant lithium deposit to potentially exceed” AVZ’s nearby Roche Dure deposit in the Manono project— 500 kilometres north of Lubumbashi in the south of the country.
AVZ said initial drilling at Carriere de l’Este “confirms widespread, high-grade spodumene lithium mineralisation over thick intersections”.
The announcement comes just months after AVZ signed several preliminary agreements for investment and off-take with Chinese groups.
Ferguson told shareholders last November quality of supply was “becoming more critical” for potential customers such as those in China, where “recent changes to subsidies for electric vehicles favour higher energy density batteries”.
Electric vehicle penetration of the global car fleet will be at less than 10% by 2025, industry guru Menahem Anderman told BEST Battery Briefing last month.
Anderman, who chaired the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference in Strasbourg, said: “We are on the edge of expansion, but I am not sure it will be as much as some people project.”