Home » Lithium Project in Côte d’Ivoire Advances with New Drilling Campaign

Lithium Project in Côte d’Ivoire Advances with New Drilling Campaign

The company aims to explore the potential of the Atex project, which could supply the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries.

by Motoni Olodun

Firering, a London-based mining company, has announced the start of a new drilling campaign at its flagship lithium project in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. The company aims to explore the potential of the Atex project, which hosts lithium-bearing pegmatite targets.

The drilling campaign, which began on January 15, 2024, will consist of 3,000 m of reverse circulation (RC) drilling, a technique that allows for faster and cheaper exploration than diamond drilling. The RC holes are expected to build upon the significant intercepts obtained during the previous diamond drilling campaign in 2024, near Spodumene Hill, one of the main pegmatite outcrops at Atex.

Spodumene Hill yielded an exceptional intercept of 64 m at 1.24% lithium oxide, which is among the best results reported by global peers in the lithium sector. Lithium oxide is a key ingredient for the production of lithium-ion batteries, which are in high demand for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage.

Firering CEO Yuval Cohen said that this next phase of drilling at Atex will be crucial for the company as it looks to rapidly advance the project and demonstrate its economic viability. “We are confident that the RC program will confirm and expand the mineralization zones identified by the diamond drilling and the auger drilling campaigns, and provide us with valuable information for the resource estimation and the feasibility study,” he said.

The Atex project covers an area of 400 km2 in the Bouafle region of Côte d’Ivoire, where Firering holds an exclusive exploration license. The project is located in a favorable geological setting, within the Birimian greenstone belt, which hosts several world-class gold deposits and other mineral resources.

Côte d’Ivoire is a stable and mining-friendly jurisdiction, with a long history of cocoa and coffee production. The country has recently attracted significant investment from major mining companies, such as Barrick Gold, Endeavour Mining, and Perseus Mining, which operate gold mines in the country. The government of Côte d’Ivoire has also expressed its support for the development of the lithium industry, as part of its vision to diversify its economy and promote green energy.

According to the US Geological Survey, Côte d’Ivoire has an estimated lithium resource of 400,000 t, ranking 25th in the world. However, this figure is likely to increase as more exploration is conducted in the country, which has been largely underexplored for lithium. Firering is one of the few companies that are actively pursuing lithium projects in Côte d’Ivoire, along with IronRidge Resources and Awalé Resources.

Lithium is a strategic metal for the global energy transition, as it is essential for the electrification of transport and the integration of renewable energy sources. The demand for lithium is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, driven by the policies and incentives of governments and corporations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

Firering is well-positioned to take advantage of this opportunity, as it advances its Atex project towards production. The company expects to complete the RC drilling program in four to six weeks and announce the pegmatite intercepts as they become available. The samples will be sent to Intertek for assaying and the first results are expected during the first quarter of 2024. Firering hopes to deliver a maiden resource estimate and a preliminary economic assessment for Atex by the end of 2024.

With its flagship lithium project in Côte d’Ivoire, Firering is not only aiming to create value for its shareholders, but also to contribute to the sustainable development of the country and the region, by providing jobs, skills, and clean energy solutions.

Source: Mining Weekly


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