Botswana Metals Ltd reveals lithium potential on existing licenses

May 24, 2016 8:16 PM ET
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Botswana Metals Ltd (ASX:BML) has revealed lithium and tantalum exploration potential on its existing licenses, with the company therefore able to accelerate the next steps.

What lifts the prospectivity of BML's licenses are that they are located in the Limpopo Mobile Belt (LMZ), which contains similar Archean rocks to those that host one of the world largest Lithium-Caesium-Tantalum (LCT) deposits in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

These rocks extend into the BML tenement area in Botswana.

To date on BML's licenses, soil sample results have yielded up to 1540ppb tantalum.

BML said past tantalum anomalies expand over several large areas, and the next step will be a review of these.

Outcropping pegmatites

The BML licenses have pegmatites outcropping at surface which have the potential for lithium-tantalum mineralisation.

This type of pegmatite mineralisation is similar in style to major lithium deposits in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique and Greenbushes in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

Zimbabwe is the world's fifth largest lithium producer.

Pat Volpe, chairman, commented: "This makes the search for mineralised LCT pegmatites a valid and exciting new exploration target for Botswana Metals.

"With anomalous values of tantalum detected in past independent laboratory analysis including numerous samples with over 1000ppb tantalum.

"BML is obligated to follow up these results with a focussed campaign to search for a source of the tantalum and potential lithium in the pegmatites that are known to exist over BML's tenements.

"BML is now embarking on that search."

Exploration planning

Pegmatites of the LCT family are well documented globally for their potential to host economic concentrations of rare earth mineralisation.

Pegmatite-hosted lithium deposits are mined in Australia, Canada, Africa and the U.S.

Whilst previously unexplored, the hard-rock pegmatites on BML's ground share similar geology to that mined in Western Australia and Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is the world's fifth largest lithium producer, with most of its production sourced from the Bikita pegmatite deposit near Masvingo in the southern area of the country.

Like Greenbushes, Bikita is an Archean aged LCT pegmatite with a claimed ore reserve of over 11 million tonnes at 1.4% lithium.

The mine has been in production for over 60 years.

The pegmatite is hosted in Archaean greenstones on the southern margin of the Zimbabwe Craton and lies just north of the northern margin of the Limpopo Mobile Zone (LMZ).

The deposit is circa 400 kilometres NE along the strike of the LMZ northern margin from BML's Botswana PLs.

The northern margin of the LMZ contains re-worked equivalents of the southern Zimbabwe Craton.

Pegmatite-hosted lithium-tantalum mineralisation occurs in a number of locations across Zimbabwe, in both craton-hosted and mobile-belt hosted terrains, lending strong support to the potential for discovery of similar styles of mineralisation in Eastern Botswana.

Analysis

BML has entered the lithium sector through its own licenses, which can be a major benefit as a first mover, rather than going through the due diligence process of an acquisition.

Adding intrigue, BML's licenses are located in the Limpopo Mobile Belt, which has drawn some comparisons to world-class mines at next door neighbour Zimbabwe.

The company also recently finalised a rights issue, with the shortfall delivering $430,000.

Upcoming key catalysts:

- Next exploration steps on existing licenses.
- New opportunities for additional lithium exposure.
- At the BCL joint venture for nickel, copper and PGEs: Pre-Feasibility report from Worsley Parson expected before end of June 2016.

Proactive Investors Australia is the market leader in producing news, articles and research reports on ASX emerging companies with distribution in Australia, UK, North America and Hong Kong / China.

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