The Mbeta Project is located in southern Zimbabwe in an area approximately 40km southwest of Gwanda, near Nyambe Hill (see Figure 1). The district has seen minor historical lithium and tantalum mining and the Project area is considered under-explored, yet highly prospective, for lithium, tantalum and associated elements.
Mbeta comprises 13 mineral claims with a combined area of 18km2 and lies in gently-undulating, lightly cropped terrain with good access from Gwanda via tarmac and all-weather gravel roads. Reported historical lithium mineralisation is hosted by several elongate pegmatite bodies close to the transition zone between a local greenstone belt and surrounding basement granites and gneisses.
Within the Project area a lithium-tantalum bearing pegmatite has been worked in shallow open pits extending over ~700m strike in a SW-NE orientation (Figure 2). The body is hosted in fresh mafic and ultramafic greenstone rocks adjacent to the granite contact. Limited historical records have been located to date, and previous production is unknown. There is no known previous drilling on the property.
A historical Zimbabwe Geological Survey report (Reference GS8/268/1963) describes the pegmatite bodies as being coarsely-crystalline and weakly zoned, dipping between 45 and 60 degrees to the NW, and hosted within a wide zone of shearing. The strike extensions of this structure can be traced as a photo-lineament for at least 6km through the Project area (Figure 2).
The historical reporting details the results of a series of earlier assaying of lepidolite-bearing ore samples, with assays ranging from 2.60% Li2O to 6.20% Li2O, with an average in the region of 4-4.5% Li2O. It is likely that results were from selected ore samples, but the Company considers these early results to be a strong indication of the lithium potential in the area.
A field visit report obtained by the Company confirmed that lepidolite-mineralised pegmatite is exposed in pit floors, and mineralised material is stockpiled in locations near the remains of a crushing facility.