(Business in Cameroon) - British mining company Oriole Resources confirmed this week the discovery of lithium pegmatites in the Adamaoua and Littoral regions of Cameroon.
“Multiple lithium-bearing pegmatite units were identified that underpin the source of the ~9km lithium-in-soil anomalies reported in Q4 2022. At Ndom (Littoral, ed) 64 rock-chip samples were taken, 55 targeting pegmatite veins up to 1.5m wide. Mapping and sampling are ongoing at Gamboukou (Adamaoua, ed),” the company announced on Twitter.
“While lithium was not an original target for Oriole, the anomalies highlighted by the earlier programs seem to be associated with the correct granitic host units and this has created a great opportunity for additional value added in this extensive package of ground,” CEO Tim Livesey said.
Difficulty to fetch financing and carry out project operation
Lithium is touted as a strategic mineral for the global energy transition. It is one of the key elements contained in the batteries of smartphones and electric vehicles. But beyond the energy sector, lithium has many other uses. "As an alkali, this element has many industrial applications. It is used, for example, to polish porcelain. In alkaline batteries, it is used as an additive to extend the life of the battery It is also found in some forms of welding, such as brass welding. Another main use is in the health sector, where lithium has long been used in the treatment of bipolar disorders," according to futura-sciences.com.
The confirmation of lithium on the Cameroonian territory, therefore, means a significant economic opportunity for the country. However, much work needs to be done first to reap the economic benefit of this discovery. Years of lab analysis and further exploration are needed to confirm the existence of an exploitable deposit. Partners and financing are also needed to roll out the project. This may take some time, especially as many projects are still lagging in this country where mining contributes barely 1% of GDP.
Brice R. Mbodiam