Canadian tin-lithium-tantalum explorer Tantalex Lithium Resources (CSE: TTX; OTC: TTLXF) has announced the TiTan alluvial plant has entered production of tin and tantalum concentrates at Manono, DR Congo. This news comes as progress is reported at other local projects.
Manono, located in Tanganyika Province in DR Congo, has a rich history of tin and coltan extraction from the 1910s to the 1970s. During this time, an estimated 180 kt cassiterite ore was extracted from the Manono-Kitotolo mine, the tailings from which are now being targeted by Tantalex in their Manono Tailings project. More recent discoveries of tin, spodumene, columbite, and tantalite, and continued artisanal operations have highlighted the exploration potential of the area. The Manono-Kitotolo pegmatites represent one of the largest Sn, Nb-Ta, and Li mineralised pegmatite deposits.
Tantalex’s TiTan plant has a designed capacity of 130 tonnes per hour operating for sixteen hours per day (2,080 tonnes of alluvial material per day). Currently, the plant is operating at 50 tonnes per hour for eight hours per day. The company states it has an offtake agreement with AfriMet Resources Ag, and its production is traceable and aligned with RMI principles.
Tantalex Chairman Hadley Natus commented: “With our current optimization program underway, I am extremely confident that we will reach our production targets in the very near term.”
At the Manono Northeast project, AJN Resources Inc. (CSE: AJN; FRA: 5AT) reports that it has commenced a 6,000 m percussion drilling programme, which will test the potential continuation of the Manono pegmatites over 7 km of its PR 15282 and PR 14537 concessions.
Klaus Eckhof, the AJN Resources’ CEO and President, highlighted that after recent disruption due to heavy rainfall, the company is highly encouraged by the identification of tin mineralisation at various artisanal sites and from their own stream sediment and pit sampling thus far.
Both Tantalex and AJN Resources are currently exploring additional projects in the Manono area and the southeast of the country. Another explorer, AVZ Minerals Ltd recently reported an increased mineral resource estimate at the company’s Manono project.
Our view: Tantalex will be pleased with the key milestone of bringing the TiTan alluvial plant into production. More broadly, progress across projects to explore new prospects, develop existing mines, and re-treat tailings from historic operations in the Manono area demonstrates continued heightened interest in the region from tin, tantalum, and lithium explorers.