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AVZ Minerals has announced the newly established Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has approved the draft inter-ministerial Decree relating to the draft Cooperation Agreement with AVZ.

The approval of both documents by the DRC Government’s Council of Ministers will ultimately deliver significant fiscal benefits for the Manono Lithium and Tin Project once finalised.

The approval of these two draft agreements within the first month of the newly elected DRC government being in office is a very positive step towards the Manono Special Economic Zone (MSEZ) approval, which is expected to deliver significant economic benefits to the Manono Project in the form of tax concessions and import duty relief.

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The fiscal incentives and benefits that will be derived by the Manono Project operating within the Special Economic Zone will further reinforce the financial outcomes compared with the published 21 April 2020 Manono Project’s DFS.

The FEED study is currently being finalised, along with the re-run of the resource estimation on the back of all ‘wedge’ drilling data being made available for input into the newly structured DFS model.

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A first review of the DFS document has been completed and on all final data being received, this document will be finalised and released to market.

In parallel, our DRC team is working hard with government officials to finalise negotiations on the Mpiana Mwanga HEPP and the Manono SEZ terms and conditions now that an incentivised, newly formed government is available.

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The formal Decree relating to the Cooperation Agreement with AVZ and the formal Cooperation Agreement are expected to be signed by the DRC Government as soon as practicable and hopefully in May 2021.

AVZ’s MD, Nigel Ferguson, said:

“The approval of both the draft Decree relating to the Cooperation Agreement and the draft Cooperation Agreement is yet another milestone for the Manono Project.”

“The final Co-operation Agreement will deliver significant long-term economic benefits for the project, as well as further underpinning our substantial investment in the DRC.”

“It will also deliver long-term benefits for the people of the Manono region, including access to improved health and education services, stable employment opportunities and upgraded infrastructure including electricity supply.

“In addition, the Cooperation Agreement reinforces the DRC Government’s pledge to financiers that the DRC is open for business to the international investment community.”

Highlights

• DRC Government approves draft inter-ministerial Decree approving a draft Cooperation Agreement with AVZ
• Creation of a Special Economic Zone for Manono (MSEZ) is a part of the Cooperation Agreement
• Conclusion of the final Cooperation Agreement is expected to deliver significant economic benefits for the Manono Lithium and Tin Project