ASX-listed AVZ Minerals has appointed Perth-based engineering design and construction contractor GR Engineering Services as the definitive feasibility study engineer for the Manono lithium and tin project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Democratic Republic of Congo – According to AVZ Minerals MD Nigel Ferguson, the appointment of GR Engineering Services is a significant milestone in the development of the Manono lithium and tin project as its work is highly regarded by leading financiers and lending institutions.
The GR Engineering Services team have significant experience in study management and the engineering design and construction of resource projects with appropriate experience in Africa including in the DRC, where GR Engineering Services recently provided operational support and optimisation studies at the Kipoi copper project.
“GR Engineering Services has completed a large number of bankable feasibility studies and has an exceptional track record in executing project design and construction developments on time and within budget,” says Ferguson.
In addition to the appointment of the DFS engineer, other DFS work streams are continuing to schedule including the metallurgical test work, says Ferguson.
A one-ton sub-sample of the bulk sample has been sent to ALS Minerals in Perth for comminution testwork. Results from this are expected soon and will be made available to the market.
Moreover, the dewatering programme for the Roche Dure pit has commenced. Approval to dewater the Roche Dure and M’Pete open pits was given to AVZ’s DRC management company, Dathcom Mining SAS in mid-May by the Mines Environmental Protection, a section of the Department of Mines. The approval was contingent on the building of a silt settlement pond and a water treatment facility into the existing dewatering channel, which has been completed.
In June, AVZ Minerals executed a share sale purchase agreement with Dathomir Mining Resources to increase AVZ’s equity in Manono to sell a 5% equity share in AVZ’s DRC management company, Dathcom Mining SAS, to AVZ for a total consideration of US$5.5 million.
Meanwhile, AVZ Minerals is also in discussion with its main partner, La Congolaise D’Exploitation Miniere (Cominiere) to secure additional equity from them on similar terms to secure further equity interest in the Manono lithium and tin project, given its Tier 1 status.