Botswana Metals Ltd (ASX:BML) has commenced field work exploration for pegmatite-hosted tantalum-lithium mineralisation in Eastern Botswana.
BML's licenses 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.
A soil sampling program has commenced as well as mapping of historical anomalies and outcropping targets.
Previous soil samples have yielded results of up 1540ppb tantalum.
Follow up work including exploration trenching and further soil sampling will be undertaken in priority areas.
The BML licenses contain 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, 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 northeast along the strike of the LMZ northern margin from BML’s Botswana licenses.
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.
The commencement of lithium-tantalum exploration marks another milestone for BML as they build on their strategy working towards the discovery of new age metals.
Exploration potential at BML’s licenses is highlighted by its location within the Limpopo Mobile Belt, which has drawn some comparisons to world-class mines positioned in the neighbouring Zimbabwe.
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.
This exploration program will provide the company with leverage to exploration upside as it continues to progress the Maibele North nickel-copper-cobalt-PGEs deposit, where most recently BML’s joint venture partner elected to proceed with a bankable feasibility study.
News flow is expected from the field work currently underway.
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