MetalsGrove Mining Ltd (ASX:MGA) has started exploration at its Arcturas Lithium Project in Zimbabwe, marking the company’s first exploration program in Zimbabwe since it entered a strategic agreement in December 2023 to acquire six, contiguous and highly prospective lithium-tin-tantalum claims.
The region is a well-known pegmatite zone that is mineralised in spodumene, lepidolite, beryllium, tantalum and caesium.
MetalsGrove suspects — subject to positive exploration results — that the project may have the potential for a large open-cut mine to be established.
The company says that the Arcturus Project could be developed independently, depending on the results of exploration and mineral resource delineation.
It contains a significant number of pegmatite outcrops that extend up to 1,000 metres on strike within a 50-metre-wide lithium corridor with thick flat laying beds of mineralised pegmatite and are host to artisanal mine workings for lithium.
Maiden exploration program
The maiden exploration campaign will include detailed surface mapping and sampling in order to generate and refine priority target areas for drilling.
Drilling is planned once the surface mapping and sampling have been completed.
Activity will initially focus on the highly prospective Arcturs Project area, 35 kilometres northeast of Harare, before shifting to the Beatrice Project which is 55 kilometres south of Harare.
Recent rock chip samples at the Arcturas Project have returned grades up to 2.5% lithium oxide and at the Beatrice Project 2.1% lithium oxide from the surface outcrops.
Notably, Arcturus is close to the world-class producing Arcadia Lithium Mine — one of the world’s largest lithium mines producing 450,000 tonnes/year of lithium concentrates. The Arcadia mine was purchased by Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt in 2022 for US$422 million.
Targeted approach to exploration
MetalsGrove managing director Sean Sivasamy said: “We have moved very quickly to get this maiden exploration program underway in Zimbabwe and we are excited to be on the ground in this highly prospective lithium district.
“Our initial focus is on completing the necessary surface mapping and sampling across both Arcturas and Beatrice as this will enable our team to start refining our priority drill target areas.
“These are advanced assets in a proven mining jurisdiction, so we are confident that we can add significant value through a targeted approach to exploration. We look forward to reporting further updates over the coming weeks.”