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Osino advances Namibia lithium prospect

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Old workings in the Karibib area taken when WhyAfrica visited the region five years ago. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica.

Osino advances Namibia lithium prospect

Australian lithium developer Prospect Resources has agreed to advance TSX listed Osino Resource’s Omaruru lithium exploration license in Namibia.

Osino announced recently that it has entered into an earn-in and shareholder agreement with Prospect Resources that would allow Prospect to earn up to 51% and potentially up to 85% interest in the Omaruru Lithium Project.

The Omaruru Lithium Project is wholly owned by Osino’s subsidiary Richwing Exploration (Pty) Ltd. The project comprises an exclusive prospecting license located east of the town of Karibib and spans about 175km2.

The tenement is situated near several historical and current lithium mining operations, including Lepidico’s Karibib Lithium Project located about 10km to the southwest. The Project is situated 20km southeast of Osino’s Twin Hills gold project, which is currently being developed. The license area is easily accessible by road from the sealed B2 National Highway which links the capital Windhoek, 130km the southeast, to the port at Walvis Bay, about 240km further southwest.

The pegmatites of Karibib

The Omaruru Project contains more than 65 known and mostly zoned pegmatites which belong to the Lithium-Caesium-Tantalum (LCT) family of rare-element pegmatites. These pegmatites occur within an area known as the Karibib Pegmatite Belt, one of five major pegmatite districts in the Damara Belt.

A sample of lepidolite that occurs in the region taken when WhyAfrica visited the area five years ago. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Several pegmatites within the Karibib Pegmatite Belt have produced lithium in the past, including Lepidico’s Karibib Lithium Project which is focused on the Rubicon and Helikon pegmatites (see main photograph).

Historically, small-scale production from the Karlsbrunn and Brockmann’s pegmatites, which is located within the project area produced lithium minerals (mainly lepidolite, petalite, amblygonite and spodumene), as well as beryl.

According to a statement by Osino, very little information is available on historical mining grades and tonnages, but it is believed that most of the production occurred in the first half of the 20th century.

Exploration in the vicinity of the project has generally been for gold, and companies like Anglo American and Helio Resources Corp. explored the area intermittently prior to 2015. Osino carried out gold exploration in the area between 2017 and 2021.

Drilling highlights upside potential

Osino undertook an initial evaluation of the lithium potential of the Omaruru project from 2019. This work included mapping, rock grab sampling and a 16 hole (1,942m) reverse circulation drill program in 2020.

The drilling highlighted remaining potential at the Karlsbrunn pegmatite in particular, with a number of intersections of 5m or more at grades in the range of 1-1.2% of Li2O and a best intersection of 23m at 0.99% Li2O.

Other drilling and surface sampling indicated lithium mineralisation associated with most of the other pegmatites on the project.

According to Heye Daun, Osino’s co-founder, President & CEO, Osino’s focus on gold exploration elsewhere in the Damara Belt, and in particular on the discovery at Twin Hills, has prevented further evaluation of the lithium potential of the project.

“Consequently, an experienced lithium explorer was sought to advance the project, culminating in the agreement with Prospect,” says Daun.

Under the terms of the agreement Osino has the option of participating significantly in the potential future upside of the project which may be unlocked through the active exploration and technical advancement of the project by Prospect Resources.”

“Prospect is an ASX-listed, highly credible and successful group of lithium developers who previously advanced their Arcadia lithium project in Zimbabwe and ultimately divested Prospect’s 87% interest in Arcadia to Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt in early 2022 for approximately USD378-million in cash,” says Daun.

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