AVZ looks to secure favourable tax status for Manono lithium project
Special Report: AVZ could enjoy exemptions or reductions on corporate and duty taxes for its Manono lithium and tin project under its agreement with the DRC government.
The importance of Manono to the Democratic Republic of Congo government has been clearly highlighted with the execution of a binding memorandum of understanding to place the project within a newly created Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
Under the MoU, AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) and the Ministry of Industry will negotiate on the establishment of the Manono SEZ in the Tanganyika Province and the development of basic infrastructure within the area.
This will revolve around development of the Manono Lithium and Tin Project, which could potentially be a world-class, long-life mine ..
SEZs in the DRC typically provide investors with exemptions or reductions on taxes, royalties and duties for either a set period of time or permanently.
However, AVZ noted that as the developer of the Manono SEZ, it would be eligible for additional benefits.
The DRC government has also committed to supporting the company in the administrative process to develop basic infrastructure, including the refurbishment of the Mpiana Mwanga hydro-electric power plant and communication channels such as roads and rail transport to promote industrialisation in the SEZ.
“The Congolese government has executed on what they stated they would do in support of the Manono district and they clearly agree with us, in that AVZ’s Manono lithium and tin project can be a major catalyst for the redevelopment and invigoration of the Manono district to its former glory,” managing director Nigel Ferguson said.
AVZ is currently putting the finishing touches on its definitive feasibility study, which is on track for release by the end of March.
It has also started site works at the project and will soon begin infill drilling of the material beneath the main Roche Dure pit, which could upgrade the resource to the highest confidence measured category.