Special Report: AVZ is poised to meet key milestones in 2020 for its Manono Lithium and Tin Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).


AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) is well on track towards delivering the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its tier 1 Manono Lithium and Tin Project in the first quarter of 2020.

With the year drawing to a close, the company said the DFS is currently 82 per cent completed.

It added that pit de-watering at the central Roche Dure deposit was advancing well and that once this was completed, further sampling of the pegmatite that is exposed in the pit floor would be carried out to upgrade the resource categories from inferred to indicated and from indicated to measured.

This is not expected to affect the timeframe for the release of the DFS.

Original water surface (left) and remaining water in the Roche Dure (right)

AVZ is continuing optimisation work for its metallurgical tests and is now preparing to carry out heavy liquid separation test work.

Additionally, results are being prepared for the recently completed low intensity magnetic separation work.

Other work to be carried out in the first quarter of 2020 includes flotation test work, rheology and thickening and tailings samples.

The company is also looking at re-developing the Mpiana Mwanga hydro power facility about 85km southeast of Manono in the DRC.

Consultants have been to site to assess the necessary refurbishment required.

Work to select the most suitable and cost-effective method of transporting lithium products to port found that the SNCC railway within the DRC is operational between Tenke Fungurume and the port of Lobito in Angola.

AVZ would need to upgrade about 220km of existing gravel road between Mwanga

and the railhead north of Tenke Fungurume to make use of the rail line.

“The company remains on track to deliver its definitive feasibility study in Q1 2020. We continue to investigate our export routes and are looking to secure DRC government benefits by way of supportive tax incentives and exemptions early in 2020,” managing director Nigel Ferguson said.

“Furthermore, we are in ongoing discussions with a number of interested parties around longer term partnerships involving offtake and debt financing. It is expected that the completion of the DFS will solidify these discussions into meaningful financing of the project.”

Manono is centred on a historical tin mining operation about 500km north of the city Lubumbashi in the south of the DRC.

It 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 (NPV) of up to $US2.63 billion ($3.92 billion) before taking taxes and royalties into account.

Internal rate of return (IRR) was estimated at 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.

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This story was developed in collaboration with AVZ Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This story does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.