Canada’s Tantalex Lithium Resources is well on the way to becoming the DRC’s leading lithium producer. It plans to produce lithium, tin and tantalum from tailings at the Manono mine in Tanganyika province.
The project is scheduled to come on stream by early 2025. Tantalex CEO Eric Allard said the project is very attractive because of its speed-to-market compared to its competitors, as the material to be mined has already been extracted.
“The Manono Lithium Tailings project is very interesting,” Mr. Allard told Mining Reiew. “The distinguishing feature is the speed to market compared to its peers, since the material we will be mining has already been extracted and the treatment process should be very simple, incorporating standard and well-understood technologies and equipment.”
“We are actively working on a PEA, which will be followed by further studies, and we are aiming for production in early 2025, which will most likely make us the DRC’s first official lithium producer,” added the enthusiastic executive.
Tantalex currently holds a 52% stake in the MINOCOM Mining joint venture, which owns the mining license for the Manono tailings. Its partners are the state-owned mining company COMINIERE SAS and the Congolese company MINOR SARL, which own 30% and 18% of the project respectively. Tantalex plans to start production in 2025, making it the first official lithium producer in the DRC.
The project has a significant resource estimated at 5.46 million tonnes of lithium in the measured and indicated categories, and 6.63 million tonnes in the inferred category. Tantalex is currently working on a Preliminary Economic Study (PEA), to be followed by a Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS). The project also has potential for future development with its 25-km-long pegmatite exploration corridor (PEC). Tantalex also owns the TiTan project, a coltan and alluvial cassiterite resource, which is due to go into production shortly.
A major player in the DRC mining sector
The company is confident about its future, positioning itself as a major player in the DRC mining sector, with near-term production assets and promising exploration opportunities. According to Mining Review, Tantalex is currently at an advanced stage of environmental impact assessment. This is being carried out by NovoPro of Montreal, Canada, and results are expected shortly. It will be followed almost immediately by a feasibility study, scheduled for completion by the end of the year. Some of the work that will feed into the PFS, such as the ESIA, road studies and other metallurgical work, is already underway.
“We believe Tantalex has an excellent combination of near-term productive assets and new deposit exploration opportunities, and is well positioned to become a significant player in the DRC’s mining sector,” Allard ambitions.
Australian company AVZ, one of Dathcom Mining’s main shareholders, has carried out a feasibility study demonstrating Roche Dure’s ability to produce 700 ktpa of high-grade SC6 lithium.
Watch the video interview on our website