AVZ Minerals Manono lithium

ASX-listed AVZ Minerals has issued a number of pre-mining infrastructure tender packages as it moves towards the development of the Manono Lithium and tin project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The tenders, which will be awarded once AVZ makes a Final Investment Decision to mine the Manono Project – are estimated to be collectively worth about US$300 million.

The request for tenders includes:

  • Process plants EPC package
  • Kabondo Dianda intermodal staging station
  • Diesel storage facilities and supply package
  • Site buildings
  • Enterprise resource systems

AVZ also advises that it has obtained preliminary iTSCi membership with an application for full membership to be lodged before 30 June 2020. AVZ has been advised it will take about two months for a full iTSCi membership to be awarded.

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The iTSCi programme is focused on “3T” minerals (tin, tantalum and tungsten) to practically assist upstream companies to implement OECD guidelines, thereby enabling continued access to international markets and economic and social development for miners and communities across large areas of central Africa.

AVZ’s iTSCi membership aligns its practices with OECD guidelines on 3T supply chain responsibilities and the American Dodd Frank Act 1502 for conflict mineral and metals supply chain management. Tin and Tantalum represent beneficial future by-products of Lithium ore processing at Manono.

Joining and being recognised by the iTSCi due diligence and traceability programme and its adherence to the OECD due diligence guidance for Responsible Supply Chains is a key part of AVZ’s focus on local community and Government engagement.

Discussions with the DRC Government about the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and with potential off take partners for lithium, tin and tantalum products are progressing well.

The company has signed non-binding memorandums of understanding with several entities to allow pricing mechanisms to be refined and agreed prior to the execution of a binding off take agreement, which is expected within months.

“We will have final pricings on our various tenders back in July and August and then expect to be in a position to award these contracts, pending COVID-19 travel restrictions being lifted and a financial investment decision being reached,” says AVZ Minerals MD Nigel Ferguson.

“Obtaining iTSCi preliminary membership is also a significant milestone for the company as it is viewed favourably by international financiers as part of their overall due diligence process on the company. The company will further invest in securing full membership over the coming months.”