The lithium and tin project in DRC is underpinned by an offtake agreement with China-based Ganfeng Lithium
AVZ Minerals has awarded a front end engineering and design (FEED) contract to Mincore for the Manono Lithium and Tin Project in southern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The 12-week FEED study will cover confirmation of the process flow sheet and all bulk material quantities to verify pricing. It also includes confirmation of the pricing of selected equipment, and finalisation of the execution schedule among others.
Mincore will accept part payment for the FEED contract in shares of AVZ Minerals.
AVZ Minerals said that Mincore’s decision in this regard shows its confidence in the viability of the Manono project.
According to AVZ Minerals, the Australian engineering company is also in the shortlist for winning the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the main process plant.
However, the final EPC contract will be awarded after a final investment decision is made on the project, said AVZ Minerals.
AVZ Minerals managing director Nigel Ferguson said: “Progressing the design of the Manono Project at this time is standard practice and has the benefit of bringing the technical design parameters to finality, thereby providing potential investors and financiers with comfort on the Manono Project schedule, capital and opex costs.
“It will also save significant time moving forward, as the results of the FEED study will be delivered to the successful company that is awarded the process plant EPC contract.”
AVZ Minerals holds a 60% stake in the lithium and tin project. The Australian firm’s partners in the project are the state-owned La Congolaise d’Exploitation Minière (30%) and Dathomir Mining Resources (10%).
Last September, AVZ Minerals executed an agreement with Dathomir Mining Resources to increase its stake in the Manono Project to 75%. The remaining 25% stake will be held by La Congolaise d’Exploitation Minière.
In December 2020, AVZ Minerals signed the first offtake agreement for the Manono Project. The agreement is with a subsidiary of Ganfeng Lithium, a Chinese lithium compounds producer.