AVZ Minerals has provided an update on the recently convened DRC Africa Business Forum and the signing of a pledge to develop a locally sourced battery minerals chain for the burgeoning EV market.
Hosted by the DRC Government in Kinshasa (24-25 November 2021) the DRC-Africa Business Forum was led by its Ministry of Industry and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in collaboration with the African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Development Bank (ADB), the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) and the United Nations Global Compact.
A key objective of the DRC-Africa Business Forum was to foster the development of a battery, electric vehicle and renewable energy industrial value chain and market in Africa.
The DRC Government’s expected outcomes for the forum included:
- Identification of business opportunities to build regional value chains in the battery, electric vehicle and renewable energy sub-sectors within the DRC and other battery minerals producing countries in Africa;
- Clear enabling government policies for project developer and financiers including (i) the creation of a DRC Battery Council; (ii) a commitment to invest and build a battery minerals industry in the DRC; and
- Articulated government support to facilitate investments in battery, electric vehicles and renewable energy value chains in the DRC and in Africa in general.
Serge Ngandu, Corporate Affairs Director for AVZ Minerals’ subsidiary Dathcom Mining, presented AVZ’s flagship Manono Lithium and Tin Project to delegates attending the first day of the DRC-Africa Business Forum. He also participated in a panel discussion with dignitaries from both the DRC and other African nations, including Heads of State and Captains of Industry.
The Presidential discussion, which was led by His Excellency Mr. Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the DRC, provided government leaders with a platform to demonstrate their commitment to and rationale for investing in the battery minerals industry in Africa and within the DRC.
Immediately following the Presidential discussion, the Congolese Government as well as the technical and financial partners such as CEA, AFC and BADEA signed commitments for the development of a battery minerals industry in the DRC.
AVZ’s wholly owned subsidiary AVZ International Pty Ltd was invited to execute this agreement, which was undertaken by Balthazar Tshiseke, the Deputy General Manager and Director of Dathcom.
AVZ’s Managing Director, Nigel Ferguson, said:
“The signing of this pledge provides a strong platform for the development of a battery minerals industry in the DRC which AVZ wholeheartedly supports, and is also an incredibly significant development as we enter the final stages of securing the Mining Licence and permits for the Manono Project.”
“The DRC and Africa is strategically positioned to play a pivotal role in the global transition to clean energy and decarbonisation and the Manono Project will greatly assist to improve the fortunes of the Congolese people, which AVZ Minerals is very supportive”.
“We are excited to be the only aspiring mining company that has been invited to join the newly formed DRC Battery Council which will be presided over by the President of the DRC and the Executive Secretary for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, along with a myriad of other significant organisations”.