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Ireland-based exploration company Arkle Resources is making an entry into Zimbabwe, with its focus on three licences where it will prospect for lithium.

The company, which is listed on London’s Aim market, believes the licences, covering 163 ha, represent a low-cost entry into one of the biggest lithium-producing countries.

“This is a toe in the water exercise by Arkle,” says chairperson John Teeling, adding that the company’s directors have long experience in Zimbabwe and are aware of the extensive history and potential for hard rock lithium in the country.

“The lithium is contained in spodumene/pegmatites. It is only recently that rising lithium prices and the potential of a massive supply gap to meet battery demand have made extraction of hard rock lithium viable,” he says.

Arkle staff identified the free ground, pegged it and applied for licences. The ground saw limited mining of lepidolite in the late 1960s.

“The Arkle approach is to make a low-cost entry into both Zimbabwe and lithium. We have examined what ground was available and been granted three licences, one of which was a small lepidolite producer – a lithium-associated mineral. We continue to examine additional opportunities in battery metals,” says Teeling.

Teeling, an entrepreneur in the resources sector, has founded several companies, including African Diamonds, Pan Andean Resources, Minco, African Gold, Persian Gold and West African Diamonds. He is also the founder and a former director of Kenmare Resources.