AVZ moves to the next stage at the Manano lithium project, aims to release DFS in early 2020
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Special Report: Great metallurgical results from AVZ Minerals’ tier 1 Manono lithium project paves the way for AVZ Minerals’ to rapid advance a Definitive Feasibility Study, due for release at the start of 2020.
Successful metallurgical test work is crucial for advanced explorers like AVZ, who are looking to turn a mineral discovery into a successful and profitable mining operation.
It’s during this process, which tests the composition and condition of the ore, that the company finds out whether they have an economic deposit on their hands. Two Scoping Studies completed to date would indicate that Manono is economic, but to better define mining and processing of material’s, AVZ have embarked on a 2 staged metallurgical test work program.
AVZ says comprehensive Phase 1 met work resulted in “excellent recovery” of lithium, tin and tantalum.
“The results of our phase one metallurgical program will now allow GR Engineering Services to rapidly advance the definitive feasibility study, which we expect will be completed around Q1 2020,” managing director Nigel Ferguson said.
“Further optimisation of our metallurgical test work will aim to improve our concentrate grade and recovery rates. Tin and tantalum recovery from recent test work are very encouraging and it is expected that further test work will improve on these numbers.”
The Phase 2 program is ongoing.
This program will seek to verify the Phase 1 process flowsheet and design parameters, examine ore variability and its effect on economic performance, and produce spodumene concentrates for market assessment.
It will also define a circuit for the recovery of heavy minerals including tin and tantalum, verify phase one heavy mineral recovery performance and carry out all necessary engineering and vendor testing.
Ferguson added that the company has now selected a non-executive chairman with an excellent track record of complementary and relevant experience in the mining industry, specifically in the DRC, with the appointment subject only to the confirmation of an official start date.
AVZ holds a 65* per cent interest in the Manono Project, 500km north of the city of Lubumbashi in the south of the DRC.
Manono, centred on an historic tin mining operation, hosts lithium pegmatites that stretch over a strike length of more than 13km.
An extended scoping study has shown that the project has the potential to be a world-class, long-life mine with a net present value, per tax and royalties, of up to $US2.63 billion ($3.92 billion) before taking taxes and royalties into account, while also showing an internal rate of return of greater than 64 per cent.
Both the NPV and IRR are used to estimate potential profitability, and the higher above zero they are, the better the prospective economics of the project.
*AVZ holds a 60% direct interest in the project with an executed agreement to purchase an additional 5% from Dathomir, its JV partner.