US company Titan Lithium Inc is seeking to consolidate its position in Tanzania following the discovery of lithium deposits south of Mount Kilimanjaro with enough potential to make the country a global market leader for the increasingly popular mineral.
The Las Vegas-based company this past week announced initial results from separate soil geochemical samplings in two locations straddling Kilimanjaro and Arusha regions, which indicated high lithium grades measuring up to 2.79 percent lithium oxide.
According to Titan Lithium Chairman Harp Sangha, the findings were "encouraging enough" to merit further follow-up.
"We're still at a preliminary stage but we are now committed to start pursuing formal drilling approvals from the authorities. All of this could take time so, for now, we can’t really commit to any specific timelines to start proper drilling," Sangha told The EastAfrican on March 8 2023.
Lithium is a key element in the manufacture of modern batteries used in emerging technologies –including lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles – and is considered a critical mineral in clean energy transition.
The new findings eclipse past lithium discoveries in Tanzania that have been restricted to Mohanga, an area near Dodoma in Central Tanzania, where at least two Australian multinationals have set up stakes.
In 2017, Liontown Resources identified lithium deposits with values exceeding 1.5 percent lithium oxide in Mohanga, while in July 2022 Cassius Mining Ltd acquired prospecting licences covering about 300 square kilometres in the same area.
The Titan 1 and Titan 2 project areas in Mt Kilimanjaro region cover about 200 square kilometres. According to Sangha, surface samplings have indicated high value lithium over extensive distances and they are still in the process of defining the boundaries of the discovery across the entire area.
He also said the area was shaping up to be a "repository for a vast area of volcanic ash collection," all of which lends itself to a lithium-rich environment.
The larger Titan 1 prospect is seen as "morphologically and depositionally" similar to Titan Lithium's main West End Lithium project in the Nevada, US, which the company says ranks as "one of the largest lithium resources in the world."
According to company CEO Craig Alford, "The size and strength of the lithium anomaly at Titan 1 is particularly exceptional as it is within an area that has had no previous exploration."
In a March 7 statement, the company said further sampling work at the Titan 1 property had returned "pervasive high-grade lithium over an area measuring eight kilometres by three kilometres, which will be a priority drill target for our future planned exploration efforts.”
Titan Lithium on February 27 announced it had entered into an agreement with Kilimanjaro Lithium giving it exclusive rights to "earn up to a 100 percent interest in several prospecting licences" covering the two project areas.
It said by March 6 it had fulfilled the requirements under the deal for "80 percent of the total earn-in on both projects at a deemed value of $6.65 million."
The company will be responsible for all exploration and development expenditures and make further cash payments totalling $350,000 over the next nine months. It said in a statement that it would make further payments totalling $4 million to attain the final 20 percent interest in the properties.
Titan Lithium Inc is completing a formal name change from China Dongsheng International Inc, which it said would "assist in relieving confusion regarding the proprietorship and direction of the company's business."