Successful explorer IronRidge Resources (AIM: IRR) is taking a big picture, strategic approach as it moves to create shareholder value through the discovery and development of province-scale gold and lithium projects in Africa. It has systematically secured large-scale, highly prospective lithium and gold portfolios in both the emerging frontiers and established mining jurisdictions in West and Central Africa.
The Australia-based junior has notched up a successful exploration track record with three discoveries in three jurisdictions in three years, including the first hard-rock spodumene lithium discovery in Ghana. CEO Vincent Mascolo explains that IronRidge's focus on Africa stems from its belief that Africa is where the next big discoveries, serving the needs of the future, will be made.
The Company offers a balance to investors: exposure to gold, a traditional safe haven investment in geopolitically uncertain times, and a hook into new technologies, such as electric vehicles, via its lithium portfolio. The lithium market is expected to balloon with the rise of EV technology and stored energy space. Lithium-ion batteries have already cemented their position as the dominant battery to be used in EVs globally.
IronRidge's key exploration portfolios are gold in Côte d'Ivoire and Chad, and a lithium pegmatite discovery in the pro-mining jurisdiction of Ghana. The Cape Coast lithium portfolio in Ghana contains the Company's recently announced maiden inferred JORC compliant resource of 14.5MT at 1.31% Li20 containing an indicated resource of 4.5MT at 1.39% Li20 from surface.
The Cape Coast portfolio contains the Ewoyaa, Abonko and Kaampakrom resources with significant exploration upside including but not limited to the historical Egyasimanku Hill deposit, which has a non-JORC compliant 1.48MT historical deposit grading 1.66% Li2O with the deepest hole drilled to 30m only.
The Project is very well located being within 110km of the deep-sea Port of Takoradi, 1km from the Takoradi highway and adjacent to grid power. The project has produced high-grade 6.29% Li2O spodumene concentrate with low-level contaminants, by simple crushing and gravity separation without the need for flotation, pointing towards low capital intensity.
Mascolo is enthusiastic about the Cape Coast's commercialisation potential, citing prospective geology and exploration upside, exceptional metallurgy and proximity to operational infrastructure implying first quartile cost projections. The project has already produced high purity battery grade lithium products and is within close shipping distance to Europe.